The Challenge

Climate is changing, and growing emissions accelerate this effect. Extreme climate areas are experiencing exceptional droughts and water shortages.

Did you know that humanity is consuming more and more water on a daily basis? So much that the average consumer on earth consumes a shocking 3800 liters of water a day. Most of this is consumed through the products we use. For example, a single kilo of beef takes, on average, 15.000 liter of water.

A huge part of this enormous water consumption is related to crop agriculture. Crop Agriculture tends to be condensed in specific areas where the economy is centered on specific crops. Good examples are grain from Ukraine, and cotton from Southern USA and Central Asia. The effects of this massive regional consumption for the world are clearly visible in the drying out of rivers and lakes. The most well-known example is the Aral Sea, which shrunk from the size of Ireland in 1960, to nearly disappearing in 2014.

Goal

Our goal is to develop technology that helps people make more efficient use of water, and to educate them to make them use water more consciously.

As a first measure to reach our goal, Robert-Jan Sips and Gert Jan Keizer made a trip through Russia and Central Asia in the second half of 2014 to build a community of students and researchers, to jointly create the Poseidon Platform for Precision Agriculture. This community currently includes Dutch, Russian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz technical universities.

Vision

We believe that better insights in our climate will prepare us for the impact on the future and tackle the problem at its root cause. Therefore our monitoring and research should be improved. And because the climate concerns humanity all over the world, we need to collaborate, share and innovate together: towards a global community for open climate research.

Current State

Educational material on water scarcity is being developed in cooperation with IBM, TU Delft and Bauman Moscow State University in English and Russian. The intent of this material is to educate (high)school students and everyone interested in the effects of our water usage and what we can do about it. We have also developed a Raspberry Pi based measurement system that anyone can build and use at home to measure the water footprint of their own plants.

Approach

Our current approach is twofold. On the one hand we are educating as many people as possible about these issues through our education material, and on the other we are developing technology for farmers, assisting them in reducing their water usage. This technology will be available for everyone, because saving water will save our future.

What's next

The next step is to leverage the community we have set up for further development and spreading of the educational material as well as to further develop the technology.

We have two main goals: first we want to further develop the education materials and bring it to schools & universities in a standard package. Second, we would like to bring the technology to the real world, by first developing a home/office version and later scale it to farms.