Drought and water scarcity are no longer distant concerns but pressing issues affecting livelihoods. As the demand for sustainable water consumption rises, the answer lies in accessible and affordable solutions. Enter water sensor technology, promising a clearer picture of our water usage and paving the way for a more sustainable future.
At Crodeon, we believe that every company, regardless of size, should have the power to make a difference. Join us on this blog as we unveil the incredible benefits of our water usage monitoring device, backed by real customer success.
What is a water usage monitoring device?
A device to monitor your water consumption serves to measure how much water you use or what your peak usage is. It can also measure groundwater level to see what impact your irrigation methods have on the local soil.
Why should you consider using a water consumption sensor?
Water sensor technology plays a crucial role in monitoring water usage, particularly in the agricultural sector. It is essential to have a water usage sensor to provide verifiable data to government agencies regarding the amount of water, both from groundwater and tap sources, that has been utilised.
By exceeding the permitted limits of groundwater pumping or tap water consumption, you run the risk of facing fines or sanctions.
What happens if you don't monitor water usage?
When you neglect to monitor your water consumption you don't only risk being fined. Freely watering your fields often means over-irrigation. As farmers and fruit growers don't want to risk ruining their harvest, they rather give a little more water than not enough.
This is an understandable point of view, but sadly does not lead to sustainable water usage as it wastes water and your money.
The solution for affordable sustainable water consumption
In recent months, our farmers and fruit growers have faced significant challenges. The need for technological solutions to optimise and measure water consumption has become increasingly apparent. It's not just large industrial companies that must take action to conserve water in the face of scarcity.
A crucial component in this effort is an accurate and affordable water usage monitor. Unfortunately, such installations can cost a fortune, which is not feasible for the independent farmer. To overcome this obstacle, we need an affordable water measurement sensor that can be easily installed and maintained by farmers themselves.
This is where Crodeon comes in, aiming to contribute to the global challenge by making data collection accessible to both small and large companies alike.
The advantages of water consumption monitoring
When you use a water usage sensor, you will not only be able to track your water consumption for legal reasons, but you can also examine where improvement would be a possibility. As proven by a recent research project by pcfruit, small tweaks in irrigation models can drastically alter the total amount of water needed to let a crop mature.
Significant water savings can also lead to great financial savings, making water usage monitoring absolutely worth the investment.
How Reporter can help you monitor your water consumption
At Crodeon we are on a mission to empower companies of all sizes to start working with data to realise sustainable water usage. Our sensor device Reporter® was launched for exactly this reason.
Reporter is a wireless sensor module, developed and made in Belgium, to which a user can connect a series of different sensors. The device works plug-and-play and is therefore extremely user-friendly. As you might expect from an end-to-end solution, it comes with its own cloud platform called the Crodeon Dashboard.
The versatility of Reporter makes it possible to plug any combination of sensors into a Reporter. For example, you can connect a weather sensor, soil moisture sensors, a flow meter, and a submersible water level meter to one device.
How Reporter helps YRRIG irrigate smarter
One of our distributors is YRRIG, an irrigation specialist based in Gembloux, Belgium. Yves Rase, founder and manager of YRRIG has been installing Reporters at many of his customers over the past 5 years.
Yves Rase: “We recently helped a customer who wanted a water consumption sensor with logging system for his farm. This online registration would prove to the local government that his current irrigation system was not exceeding the water consumption permits he was granted. This is done by demonstrating the impact of water flow on the groundwater levels.”
Reporter with a water measurement sensor makes it a simple task to prove that rules surrounding sustainable water usage are indeed being followed.
Reporter offers many additional benefits to farmers and fruit growers who want to collect more data about how their crops grow. A dendrometer, for example, can give an apple farmer a clear image of how fast his fruit grows.
Yves Rase: “The customer loves it when their Reporter helps them save time in several different ways. For example, a farmer who is able to remotely activate an irrigation system always wants to verify that the pressure is correct and the water is actually flowing. For us, this means just adding one extra pressure sensor to their Reporter. Another benefit is measuring weather conditions. We can expand the Reporter to serve as a professional weather station. The entire system is solar powered so we don't even need grid power on site.”
Reporter has a cloud platform where you can change measurement settings, alarm notifications and view live or historic water usage sensor measurements. This sensor data is automatically sent to the Crodeon Dashboard, through a GSM data connection.
The following image shows the data of three different sensors connected to one Reporter.
Sharing water consumption sensor data to other software platforms
Crodeon wants to make it possible to share sensor data between customers and third party software. This is done using APIs, which means that the data from the Crodeon Dashboard can be accessed by another data platform. Of course, this is only done when requested by the end user.
This will eventually make it possible to share water usage monitor data from weather stations and groundwater levels. The user could then, for example, consult the data of several measuring points via an interactive map. Essentially linking together these water usage monitoring devices.
Flanders subsidises sustainable water consumption
The Flemish government has recently started granting subsidies for certain investments that do not directly generate increased productivity, under the name of “non-productive investments”. These are investments that do not directly generate income for the (agricultural) business, but which benefit biodiversity, the landscape, soil or water management. A water usage sensor fits perfectly into that category.
The following sensor kit is eligible for Flemish subsidies and contains three sensors:
- Weather sensor: Temperature, humidity, wind and rain
- Electronic water level sensor: Level measurements of the groundwater
- Water meter: Flow measurements of the amount of water consumed
- One connector remains unused and can be filled by a sensor of your choice
Reporter also measures power supply. That means you can get an alarm if the power goes down, which is especially useful if your irrigation equipment runs on the same power source. Of course, this is not relevant when you're using a solar panel to power Reporter.
Visit the official website of the Flemish Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to learn more about these subsidies.
Let's talk about sensors
Get in touch with Crodeon to talk about your water measurement sensor project for sustainable water usage. Take a look at our webshop for a selection of affordable high quality sensors. If your preferred sensor is not listed, let us know and we can discuss the possibilities.
Feel free to book an online video call with our Sales Manager Jonathan, using this link, or call us at +32 474 09 77 05.