With satellite technology and drone images, the Smart-Wadi consortium wants to collect data on groundwater and crop growth for farmers near the city of Mashhad, Iran. The data allows farmers to use the groundwater more effectively. Mashhad is facing a serious water crisis. 

The project Smart water decisions for Iran (Smart-Wadi) is carried out by a consortium of consultancy firm FutureWater, education institute IHE Delft, and East Water and Environmental Research Institute (EWERI). The project is currently in its feasibility phase.

dws-future-water-drones-iran-scheme-350px   Conceptual framework to predict crop yield and water productivity, as developed by FutureWater .

Drastic measures
Mashhad city is the second largest city in Iran. The economic growth of the city is seriously threatened by water shortages and unregulated groundwater extraction.

The situation is critical, and the government is considering drastic infrastructural measures, such as desalination and water supply from the Sea of Oman.

Hence, finding cost-effective alternatives to reduce groundwater consumption in the Mashhad basin is of regional interest.

Quantify water consumption
The aim of the consortium is to provide up-to-date information and advice on water productivity, irrigation and farm management.

The project combines the latest satellite technology for the quantification of water consumption and productivity, with high resolution flying sensor (drone) images to monitor the crop growth.

Higher water productivity
Using this information in a crop model can determine the potential for improving agricultural practices and reduce groundwater consumption.

This way, a higher crop yield (food production) and higher water productivity can be obtained. Eventually farmers receive this information in combination with recommendations regarding irrigation planning via an online portal or mobile app.

In the feasibility phase the market context and technical aspects are tested. The project is supported by the Dutch Government's Partners for Water Programme, with co-funding from the project partners.

This news item was originally published on the website of Future Water.

(Photos: FutureWater)

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Expertise: Water and agrifood
Country: Iran

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