Google and groundwater: The Google Impact Challenge has highlighted the importance of groundwater and is rewarding solutions
Did you know that groundwater is the largest source of fresh water in the world? And over 2 billion people rely on it? This extremely important resource needs to be managed properly to ensure its protection.
That's the motivating force behind one of the finalists in the Google Impact Challenge. According to the University of Technology Sydney Newsroom, a UTS research team has developed a warning system that leverages information from trees to determine when groundwater is being extracted in excessive quantities. The UTS data will help communities better manage and preserve their water resources.
Creators of the technology were named as finalists in Google's competition, which will select a project "using technology to change the world" to support with technical assistance and grant funding. Although the entry wasn't chosen as a winner on October 14, Google will mentor the team and provide $250,000 to help advance its efforts.
Professor Derek Eamus, the team's leader, noted that the growing use of groundwater is a critical concern, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, such as Australia.
"By investing in these early warning systems and protecting these ecosystems, we can conservatively estimate a contribution to the Australian economy alone of $90 million through better management of groundwater usage and soil stability," Professor Eamus said.
To assist communities struggling to achieve sustainable, usable water supplies, a number of approaches will be of assistance. Hydrosmart's water conditioners are clearly among the suitable approaches, helping turn suboptimal bore waters into nutrient-rich resources.
As an environmentally friendly, low-energy solution, the technology does not waste anything, but rather turns bad water into useful water. The approach is critical to ongoing water conservation efforts because the technology uses water efficiently. The conditioned water optimises plant growth by making minerals bioavailable. It also improves irrigation efficiency by unblocking drippers and sprinkler systems, and ultimately it lessens the quantity of water and energy required to achieve the desired results.