19 Jun Water Challenge: Innovation For a Sustainable Food System
Water is a critical resource for agri-food system. In recent years, the water challenge has come to the forefront in the sustainability agenda, and so many start-up projects tackling the issue have arisen in different parts of the globe – especially in areas where water scarcity has been historically a strategic question or where all the alarms go on. Israel and California have a point of contact both in attracting technological and innovative projects and in suffering the impact water scarcity has in their agricultural systems. A breeding ground for innovation around the water challenge where efforts are focused in bringing water where there is none or where it is polluted, in reutilizing water resources, or in optimizing water management.
After starting in the defense market, Water-Gen is an example of those types of projects. The Israeli company has created a portable water generator, GeNius, that can produce clean water by extracting it from air and condensed water vapor.
More concerned about current water sources, Blue I is another Israeli company providing technologies for control and water quality analysis intended to determine the possible use of water in areas with high risk of contamination. And WatrHub, for its part, turns to big data to optimize water usage. The Toronto company working in North America is contributing to the consolidation of precision agriculture by facilitating useful information for water systems’ optimal management.
Water optimization in farming is the aim of the BountiGel, a soil additive, launched by mOasis and which reduces water necessities for growing crops.
In domestic use, WellIntel gathers real-time data from water wells using a sonar system to detect the water level and sends the information to a website afterwards where users, both particulars and farmers, can access the information.
The San Francisco-based start-up WaterSmart combines water consumption and weather data to generate reports and efficiency proposals.
Those are some of the proposals targeting the water crisis to embrace sustainability in food systems. Food waste, energy efficiency, and quality assurance are some others. We will explore them in future articles.