A new agriculture irrigation system that helps farmers groundwater recharge to become Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) compliant. For centuries, we always irrigate on the surface and the problem with that is we always lose water to evaporation. Scientists believe we lose from 25 to 50 percent of all irrigated water to evaporation.
We came up with a revolutionary way to irrigate orchards: it’s a subsurface irrigation system that sits five feet below the ground and creates a virtual water table that virtual water table creates a moisture plume that goes two feet high and 14 feet wide that where the plants feed on. The key to this is the unique design of our pipe, we call it the Aquifer Pipe.
Water goes down the side channels and seeps into that center channel and gets fully saturate that allows the surrounding soil to wack it up into a
two-foot plume and ten feet on each side of the pipe. The key is to know that it’s placed in the center of the service road so you have trees ten feet on each side and this pipe is put in the center of the service road five feet below the surface.
Advantages of Aquifer Pipe
There are many advantages to the farmer:
1) The roots of the trees go deeper so you don’t have trees blowing over,
2) You don’t have water on the surface so you don’t have weeds growing,
3) You don’t have to put as much herbicides and labor to control the weeds within your orchard.
4) Another thing is that you don’t have the drip lines which rodents are going to eat into.
5) But the key advantage is that you cut your water consumption from 25% to 50%. Especially here in the Central Valley where the temperatures can get up to 110 degrees in the middle of the summer and demand a lot of water from your trees.
6) It can be placed in any existing orchard. New orchards may require your drip irrigation for the first two years. And then they’ll start pulling water from the pipe itself.
Let’s talk about how Aquifer Pipe uses energy. Drip and micro sprayers have a giant energy consumption. You typically have to turn on those systems for 72 hours, and then you turn them off for a week. With the Aquifer Pipe-we changed that, energy usage is 5 minutes to 10 minutes and when the pipe gets filled up, it gets turned off. This allows the water to seep into the surrounding area, it takes usually about an hour and then you fill it up again if you do that three times a day.
But what’s unique about it is that you can do that any time of the day. Whenever the price of electricity is at its lowest and hence the savings are dramatic. These energy savings can actually pay for the full infrastructure of the pipe so it’s not going to be anything out of your pocket. The pipe itself will be for over a 10-year period maybe a 15-year period. But the pipe can last 80 years to 100 years so you’re going to benefit. Your kids are going to benefit, and your grandkids are going to benefit.
The last key benefit of the aquifer pipe is that it could be a dual purpose. Meaning that you can use it for groundwater recharge during the wet years. When there’s an abundance of water coming down from the north.
On the other hand, you can also pump additional water into the pipe at any time of the year. You can be in the wintertime or the middle of the summer. Whenever there’s additional water you’re pumping additional water and it infiltrates down to the groundwater.
Benefits to farmers about Agriculture irrigation and SGMA compliant
Why it is important for a farmer? And the answer is that you build the water credits on your farm for the benefit of your balance sheet. Here at Umida, you can tell we’re a very unique company and we have a very unique device. It meets the challenges faced by today’s farmers by cutting water consumption. Your irrigation is allowing groundwater recharge when there’s an abundance of water and reduces the overall energy footprint.
And what we like about it is that we’re providing the ability for farmers to have a legacy to pass to future generations through their farms to keep production going. And keep this rich California industry alive.