It’s never been more important to save on water. It’s a likely source of global conflict in the future and yet some in the industry still take the precious resource for granted and overuse it regularly.
It’s time we all started taking responsibility for our water consumption and the best way to see a marked reduction in irrigation waters and prevent wastage is with the help of new technologies.
“We need a more proactive approach: actual management of water resources”, says Ralf Stahl, Managing Director of Zeoplant.
“By combining basic best management practices and new irrigation technologies, along with the use of native or water-conserving plants, it is possible to provide customers with the attractive green landscapes that they desire while reducing water usage”, he explained.
Zeoplant’s mineral based moisture retention product can contribute heavily to reducing irrigation losses. The sandy soils have a very low water holding capacity and are poor in nutrients. Therefore the plant roots don't have enough time to use the irrigation water and fertilizers because they are washed out very fast. Zeoplant is addressing these problems immediately after application into the root zones.
“ We aim to improve the soil structure and increase the water holding capacity of the soils to the extent that infiltration speed of irrigation water will be reduced by up to 85%. Plant roots have more time to absorb the water and loss of water through percolation is reduced drastically,” said Mr. Stahl.
However he admits that infiltration and evaporation losses cannot be solved by technologies alone.
“Organic soil additives became mandatory a long time ago as they increased nutrient and organic compounds in soils, but they are doing little to address a permanent water holding capacity of the soils because of its fast degradation.
“Moisture retaining soil amendments in mineral form are giving a long term solution to the soil. Zeoplant, a zeolite and montmorillonite based soil additives has proven its effectiveness for irrigation water reductions in many projects over the past eight years. Water savings of 50% were easily achieved even without combining modern irrigation techniques,’ he said.
According to Mr. Ralf, a combination of such solutions will result in massive additional irrigation water reductions.
And it would seem that his findings is supported by what has been found in Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council’s PRDM (Public Realm Design Manual) report on addressing such available solutions.
“These irrigation rates and frequencies were called impossible by many or were even called revolutionary and unsubstantiated when they first came out in April 2011,” said Mr. Ralf.
He continued: “No, these rates were neither impossible nor unsubstantiated rather they are based on deep horticultural knowledge and long standing local expertise.
“It took too long for the industry to address irrigation reduction seriously. Clients were not insisting, so business was done as usual without much regard for water wastage or water conservation. It took the UPC and ESTIDAMA in Abu Dhabi to send out a clear message to make the landscaping industry take notice.”
Mr. Ralf points to Qatar as an example of a country who must ensure they are on the right path to give similar government driven guidelines for their massive growth plans ahead of the FIFA World cup 2022.
“Water has become one of the most precious commodities in the world. The oil rich Gulf countries have a great opportunity to show the world what modern irrigation techniques can achieve when used in the right manner.
The combination of available, proven and reliable technologies will help to stop unnecessary irrigation water wastage in the sandy soils of the Middle East,” he added.
For more details please visit http://www.zeoplant.com