How Smart Solutions Can Help Solve the Growing Crisis Of Drought Across The Globe

How Smart Solutions Can Help Solve the Growing Crisis Of Drought Across The Globe

Currently, about over 55 million people are affected by severe droughts annually, and the number is rising as climate change worsens. It is estimated that about 700 million people could be facing severe drought effects by 2030. This is due to a reduction in food production and water scarcity that will likely affect about 40% of the global population in the coming years.

As the world focuses on combating climate change, there is a need for drastic strategies to speed up the response to drought effects. One of the strategies is to rely on smart technologies deployed to help in areas such as agriculture, water management, and data analytics. Here is a discussion on how these technologies can help combat the worsening drought conditions. 

1. Water Management Smart Technologies

Data by the UNDP indicate that about 4 billion people face severe water scarcity monthly per year. This number is bound to rise as the climatic change worsens due to the lack of proper water management and sustainability facilities. Instead of the traditional water management strategies such as wells, climate change campaigns advocate for smart water management strategies to reduce the impact of water scarcity and its effects on people

With government support and the right technologies, homes can deploy smart solutions for drought, such as smart water recycling technologies to increase the maximum water use before disposal. In large estates and residential areas, these technologies can help in water recycling and sewer water treatment, then reuse the water or resell it for activities such as irrigation which require large amounts of water. This will spare a lot of clean water for domestic use rather than crop production. 

The other cause of water decline during drought is water leaks; the limited amount of water is still wasted due to pipe leaks in the main transport system or homes. Using smart technologies such as reclamation technologies suitable for wastewater treatment and reuse. This reduces the overdependence on fresh water for activities such as agriculture; instead, the treated water can be channeled to farms. 

The other technology is reverse osmosis (RO), an energy-efficient process and technology to purify water for domestic and industrial uses. RO can be used for desalination plants to improve water purity levels and purify water without chemicals and more energy. The other technology is ToxSorb’s Standalone Drinking Water Solution, which can purify water for domestic use.

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2. Climate Data-Driven Analytics and Diagnostics

Global temperatures are expected to rise by 1.50c in this decade, and the effects are likely to peak between 2027 to 2042. While the number may seem insignificant, there is a need for critical data analytics to help in planning for most affected resources, such as water. Through big data, the world could help plan for drought preparations by monitoring changes, critical climate, and drought-related decision-making, etc. 

Smart technology will help with climate data analytics which involves the prediction of drought occurrence and the severity, then advising on measures and strategies to curb the impacts of these droughts. Such technologies can be deployed and disseminated by organizations such as the United Nations to help severely and least prepared regions like Africa to prepare for weather changes and plan for droughts. These technologies can also be deployed where people depend on groundwater by constantly monitoring the water table volumes and consumption. 

There are different smart and data-driven technologies that can help in monitoring water volumes and consumption. Some of them include flying drones over water bodies to monitor the current volumes and other satellite technologies to monitor water volumes in underground water systems. These data can then be used for advising people and implementing other subsequent technologies to ensure people use water sparingly. Some of these data can also be used by farmers to assess the nature of their pumps to implement smart irrigation, crop rotation, and other storage upgraded strategies. 

3. Boosting Irrigation and Food Production

The global population is growing fast and is anticipated to hit 9 billion by 2050. As the population grows, so does the challenge of food scarcity caused by drought and climate change worsen. To meet the rising need, the world needs to rely on climate-smart agriculture to produce 70% more food than the current capacity. The technologies should focus on key areas such as smart irrigation, crop monitoring, and ensuring natural growth conditions are provided. 

These technologies can be used for water recycling, as in the case of aquaponics, where water can be used for fish farming and irrigating crops on the same farm. The other application is data analytics technologies such as agricultural databases and farm monitoring technologies and systems to determine the optimal crop production conditions such as soil fertility, humidity, light, etc. 

Data analytics can also be significant for smart agricultural technologies to determine crop requirements and relate this to the anticipated yield. This can help farmers improve other dynamics such as crop type, fertilizer quantity, and the nature of the crop to increase the yield.  As long as the world embraces smart agriculture, there will be fewer complaints about droughts since the drought effects are mainly felt due to the lack of food and the number of people dying.  

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4. Water Collection Strategies

Droughts are likely to lead to faster depletion of groundwater, and in areas far from lakes or oceans, access to water can be a challenge hence the need to tap into other water sources. Instead of relying on rain or underground water, smart technologies can be used to harvest water from the atmosphere. The process involves direct water harvesting from moisture suspended in the air, especially at night. These technologies can be suitable for areas such as Africa that still have non-polluted air; hence the harvested water will likely be pure.

In areas closer to the ocean or other large water bodies, there is a need to rely on desalination plants to extract fresh water from the ocean. Desalination technologies can help countries purify water for nationwide consumption and pump it to various areas to help people meet their water needs. It can also help monitor water purity levels to prevent water poisoning and other salinity effects. 

As part of the drought preparation programs, smart rainwater storage and harvesting systems can help monitor and control the amount of water available for people to use in dry seasons. Since rainfall volumes tend to decline in drought areas, people can use smart technologies to maximize the amount of water harvested and stored for future needs. 

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Smart technologies play a significant role in drought management; however, their impact can be fully felt when put into mass action rather than theoretical discussions and small-scale usage. With smart technologies, nations and people can deal with drought through water conservation strategies, smart irrigation, leak prevention, etc. They are also suitable for data analytics to ensure conservation and adequate preparations. 

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