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Where did all the water go?

The recent drought crisis and its impact on daily life

During last years the drought crisis that hit several regions of most developed countries - California above all – is worsening. This could have obviously a severe impact on economy and state balance. As Forbes and The Guardian say: “Exceptional drought conditions unprecedented in the past 1,200 years will cost California over $2 billion this year[1]. However - despite the most evident consequences of this emergency – further implications have to be considered regarding the residential water usage for households. According to the NY Times, drought seems to influence every side of the daily life: “Yet the drought’s impact is being keenly felt in culinary matters, from how Californians cook and clean, to how they shop and even what foods they can find at the market”[2]. The water consumption has to be reduced and only a personal commitment to the cause can lead to a positive result. Everyone should be on a mission to reduce the impact of his human activity on potable water reserves. 

Water saving has finally become a priority even in wealthiest countries, everyone seems to understand that clean water is the ultimate resource and it must be preserved as a treasure.

While the state of California is cutting down water consumption and thinking to raise prices[3] to increase awareness and commitment to the cause, households struggle with the daily water needs of their houses, the irrigation of their gardens or the changing of their cooking habits. Agriculture and breeding are the industries at higher risk. The lack of water deeply impacts the ability of farms to properly run their cultivations[4] and the possibility to keep cattle healthy. This results in scarcity of vegetables and meat available on the market, increasing of prices[5] and depletion of nutrients. During drought time, vegetables are not only difficult to find or more expensive: they lose their qualities, flavor and beneficial effects. Domestic gardening seems to be the best solution. With minimum efforts, it is possible to grow vegetable gardens for private use or shared with the community and neighborhood. A direct control on soil moisture, fertility and growing of healthy vegetables is possible. However gardening is not for everyone. It requires fresh water and specific skills. So how to conciliate gardening passion with planet needs and reduce its impact on water reserves?

Has the time of flourishing homes and fertile vegetable gardens come to an end?

This is the million dollar question. According to US EPA more than half the water used outdoor is wasted due to inefficient irrigation systems[6]. Our society evolved during last years towards a sustainable development. Thanks to commitment and passion, we adopted measures and technologies that were impossible to imagine just a couple of decades ago. Clean and renewable energy, electric cars, efficient heating systems, low fuel consumption vehicles and many more. However the irrigation industry – on the residential side in particular – left back.

Our irrigation systems are primitive, inefficient, despite the huge technological development our society experienced. They allow only strict watering programs based on time scheduled. They have no settings for different soil types, but watering needs can vary hugely according to the nature of terrains. In drought times the soil changes in chemical composition, nutrients, ability to drain or retain water and this deeply influences irrigation. Would you irrigate your garden in the rain? Of course not! So why your automatic irrigation system does it? 

We imagined how a 21st century irrigation system should work: weather forecast connection to know when it is necessary to irrigate, soil and micro-climate sensor to collect data on environmental specific conditions, clear and friendly interface, remote control by smartphone, connectivity and social community. 

It is time for a smart irrigation system able to improve water saving and allow an easy and sustainable gardening. It is time for ODO. ODO is specifically designed to reduce the impact of human activity on potable water reserves and improve the efficiency of irrigation systems. Thanks to cloud computing and local sensors, it is able to collect weather forecast data and detect the specific micro-climate conditions of your house. The result is a dynamic and learning irrigation profile, constantly adjusted following the water needs of your cultivations and the conditions of soil. ODO will take care of your plants for you, keeping their highest standards of health and beauty with the minimum amount of water. Why you should give up on your beautiful lawn or organic vegetable garden? Why you should change your cooking and daily life habits? The problem is not about water usage at all. Our problem is about the waste of water caused by our irresponsibility.

Be responsible. Be sustainable. Choose ODO and help us help the planet.

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