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AQUA4D, for an efficient use of irrigation water

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AQUA4D (AQUA4D, for an efficient use of irrigation water )

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-08-31

Our company’s mission from the outset has always been to sustainably improve the water efficiency of companies with a positive impact on the health of people and planet. A major global challenge in the coming years will be to ensure food security and to feed the increasing human population. Although a 35% population increase is projected by 2050, an increase in food demand in the order of 70% is anticipated, due to economic development and changes in food preferences. At the same time, resources are degrading (soil, water), exacerbated by climate change. Significant improvements are necessary for the agriculture sector in terms of resource use efficiency. AQUA4D® can hugely contribute to producing more with fewer resources (water, fertilizers, energy), taking irrigation management to a very high level of precision. With growing interest in our water-smart agriculture technology, we want to be able to serve the large-scale crops markets (cereals, oilseeds, and pulses) with this project, where AQUA4D-Pivot could be a true game-changer.

The use of AQUA4D-Pivot will allow large-scale farmers to obtain water and fertilizer savings, improvement of yields, and use of saline water for irrigation without detrimental effect on plants - all while contributing to 11 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AQUA4D® facilitates a better dissolution and distribution of minerals, promotes water retention in the soil and allows for absorption of minerals by the plants. At the same time, our clean technology increases the natural resistance of plants against diseases, avoids nematode attacks in roots and prevents clogging and biofilm in pipes. And crucially, AQUA4D® brings all these advantages without changing the chemical composition of the water, does not use any chemicals, does not create any by-products, consumes very little energy (can be powered by a small solar panel) and does not require any maintenance. The overall result is a significant increase in the production yield with a fast Return on Investment (payback between 6 and 36 months).

The first AQUA4D-Pivot prototypes technologically adapted to high water flow rates to suit pivot irrigation systems will be ready during the second half of the project, with validations in real operational conditions in different locations (Europe, USA, Brazil) starting during 2021 crop seasons. After this, an AQUA4D-Pivot assembly line adapted for serial production will enable us to serve the market with this new business unit as of 2022.
Based on the AQUA4D® technology, a technological adaptation of AQUA4D-Pivot components were performed during the first half of the project to optimize the effects of the Very Low-Frequency Electro Magnetic resonance fields (VLF-EM) induced into the irrigation water flow (up to 60 l/s) in terms of water saving, improvement of crops yield and soil quality preservation.

AQUA4D-Pivot treatment units (TU), which contains the irrigation water and diffuses the VLF-EM resonance field into it, were designed to achieve the most efficient treatment for the water. To do so, simulations were conducted to select the most efficient EM parameters and ensure that the TU design is the optimum one in terms of efficiency of the water treatment.

Detailed engineering design of AQUA4D-Pivot electronic control box (Control Unit) that generates pre-programmed dedicated oscillating voltage to be transmitted to the water has been also completed. It includes a local and remote user interface for plug-and-play operation, control, and real-time monitoring of its performance through computer and mobile devices.

Furthermore, a detailed design of the optimum layout for the integration of AQUA4D-Pivot into the pivot irrigation system, including the design of the case, connections, and mounting elements has been performed.
In parallel, we have established many contacts with growers’ organizations, cooperatives, research centres and farmers, to start implementing the infrastructure and protocols for nine trials in 2021 on main crops and pivot irrigation systems, in our three main markets (Europe, Brazil, and the USA).

We conducted an initial identification of the main worldwide markets according to the installed pivots base and the annual pivots sales, we identified the main global pain points and problems, the high-tech markets, and the high-value crops.
"The great combination of advantages provided by AQUA4D is related to the modification of the properties of water. Currently, the only available and credible alternative on the market for the physical treatment of water is reverse osmosis, involving very high-power consumption rates and operation costs (periodical replacement of membranes leads to higher costs). Moreover, the disposal of concentrated brine causes ecological problems. AQUA4D-Pivot is the only technologically and economically adapted solution to high water flow rates to suit pivot irrigation systems and large-scale crops).

From erratic rainfall to severe droughts, global warming is increasing competition for water around the world, with water-related conflicts on the rise. More than two billion people are already experiencing ""high"" water stress, and facing extreme water shortages will fuel conflict, political instability, social unrest, and migration. One key to tackling water scarcity is boosting investment in more sparing use of water in agriculture, an industry that absorbs 70% of the water used by people each year. With 20% to 80% improvement in water use efficiency, AQUA4D-Pivot could have a huge impact, economically, environmentally, and societally.

Thus, besides the direct approach with farmers, we are networking to build strong international projects with multi-stakeholder partnership (multilateral financial institutions, public organizations and NGOs). We are perfectly answering these above important challenges they are financing and prioritizing to limit the impacts of water-related conflicts and migrations.

Aqua4D is one of 174 endorsing companies to the CEO Water Mandate, along with some of the world's biggest firms, a UN Global Compact initiative committed to reducing water stress by 2050, devoted to this collective action and commitment required to combat water scarcity and reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As DNA of our company, AQUA4D is pleased to fulfil a total of 11 SDGs set out by the United Nations. Covering everything from responsible production to clean energy to addressing water scarcity, here’s how our company addresses sustainability in everything we do."