At present, the use of household water has significantly increased in the summer as lawns and gardens demand more water for irrigation. For instance, the U.S. has a considerable area under lawns and gardens. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S., more than 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted due to the inefficient watering methods and irrigation systems in the country. Water management is important in lawns and gardens to avoid overwatering to survive plants. This can be achieved by adopting advanced irrigation systems. Micro-irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers, provide a targeted and precise application of water to plants. It helps reduce water waste and promotes plant growth, making it an ideal solution for homeowners and landscapers looking to save water and maintain healthy lawns and gardens.
Governments across different regions are planning water conservation plans to conserve water from lawns. For instance, in 2020, due to the need to comply with regulations for Lake Michigan water usage and voluntary recommendations from the Northwest Water Planning Alliance, more than 85% of municipalities in Chicago had established guidelines for lawn watering. Such initiatives helped spread awareness among citizens about conserving water by adopting different irrigation methods. Traditional irrigation methods often involve spraying water over a large area, which can result in a significant amount of water being lost due to evaporation or runoff. However, micro-irrigation systems deliver water directly to the plant's roots, minimizing water loss. In addition, several companies are advancing their micro-irrigation portfolio with the latest technology to improve their efficiency.
Some of the developments in micro-irrigation systems are as follows:
- In February 2023, The Toro Company (U.S.) launched Transpira to measure plant water consumption via direct plant sensing for reliable and actionable information on crop water usage and plant health. The company also launched its Toro 900 Series Valve for farmers to provide an efficient and reliable foundation for irrigation system control.
- In June 2021, Hunter Industries, Inc. (U.S.) launched its Wireless HC Flow designed for use with Hydrawise smart irrigation systems that deliver highly reliable flow data, maximizing water savings and protecting landscapes.
- In May 2021, Netafim Limited (Israel) launched its intelligent automated filter called AlphaDisc to protect irrigation systems against clogging caused by organic contaminants and improve degrading water quality.
- In January 2020, Nelson Irrigation Corporation (U.S.) launched its adapter for end-of-pivot sprinklers called Nelson's R55VT and R75 End of Pivot Sprinklers to eliminate expensive fittings and enhance maximum sprinkler performance.
Some of the applications of micro-irrigation systems are as follows:
- It delivers water directly to the roots of the plants. This helps minimize water loss due to evaporation or runoff and lower labor costs compared to traditional irrigation methods.
- It can be used to spot water dry areas and specific zones in the lawn. This helps to avoid overwatering and ensures that the lawn receives water properly.
- It can be used for sloped lawns where water runoff can be an issue.
- It can be customized to suit the specific needs of different types of plants.
- It provides a targeted and precise water application to the grassroots that can help reduce water waste and promote sustainability.
Another advantage of micro-irrigation systems is their versatility. They can be used in a variety of settings, from small home gardens to large commercial landscapes. They are also easy to install and maintain, making them popular among homeowners and landscapers. Thus, all such developments and benefits offered by micro-irrigation systems are expected to support the growth of this market in the coming years.
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