|Water becomes more and more valuable and cost for irrigation increases continuously. In order to save our water and energy recources, irrigation systems have to be optimized to avoid waste of water. In general water is supplied to high water consumers like palm trees in much higher quantites than actually required.|
The result of trials showed a significant difference in the required amount of water by the plant and the actual amount of water supplied by irrigation systems. During the trials the actual water supply was measured by using water meters which were installed directly at the palm trees. During one year of monitoring the irrigation systems, the wasted water was in the average more than 100 Litres per day for each palm tree e.g. a medium size Washingtonia filifera got up to 400 Liter per day during June 2013. This overwatering can be avoided by using a regulator unit which monitores the moisture level at the roots and regulates the water supply accordingly.
The unit is called W.O.O.D. Regulator (Water Only On Demand). The module consists of a moisture sensor made from a special ceramic located at the lower part of the unit and a water valve on top. The moisture sensor measures the moisture content directly at the roots and sends signals to the water valve which opens or closes accordingly when water is supplied by the irrigation system. The unit is adjustable to the demand of different plants.
Conventional watering systems release water at intervals which are automatically scheduled via computer. What they do not take into consideration is the amound of sunshine, the current moisture of the soil or the varying water requirements of individual plants. The W.O.O.D. Regulator is different. It doesn’t have to be plugged in to the power supply, nor does it require a computer. The ceramic sensor responds to the moisture content of the surrounding soil, only releasing the amount of water required by the particular plant.
For installation of the W.O.O.D. Regulator only one 2 ½ inch hole has to be drilled approximately 60cm from the trunk of the tree vertically into the ground. This hole accomodates a 2 ½ inch high pressure PVC pipe with a length of 60cm. This PVC pipe contains the W.O.O.D. Regulator and allows easy access to the unit.
Nowadays more and more palm trees are potted in big container and placed at the pool roof area or terraces of buildings. Here it is very important to avoid any drain water from the container because this would damage the structure of the building. The W.O.O.D. Regulator is the only device which controls the moisture level inside the container continously and reliable to avoid any accumulation of water.
Based on an average price for water, the break even will be achieved after less than one year.