hydrosolutions GmbH was invited by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to present joint work on non-traditional monitoring at the 3rd World Irrigation Forum in Bali, Indonesia. The Supporting Event 4 was coordinated by Maher Salman and Eduardo Mansur (FAO) and aimed at presenting innovative farmers’ led solutions to improve crop water productivity and efficiency of small-scale irrigation, and the support given by development agencies towards the promotion of these solutions.
hydrosolutions Ltd. presented the work carried out in non-traditional monitoring using the smartphone application “DischargeApp” and the Smart-Stick. These technologies allow farmers to obtain and store water-level and discharge measurements across irrigation schemes for later processing and analysis.
Several field applications (supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) in Eastern Africa were showcased. Key learnings in non-traditional, people-based monitoring are that a sustainable technology uptake can only be achieved if an enabling combination of a) water use policy, b) institutional framework, c) social control mechanisms and d) budget lines for covering technology/measurement costs are properly in place. As our experience shows, this is very hard to achieve and requires significant buy-in from local stakeholders as well as time for uptake.