FutureWater is pleased to announce that we are one of the 39 finalists that were approved to conduct an innovative project for “Securing Water For Food: A Grand Challenge For Development”. The “Securing Water For Food” challenge was launched in 2013 at the World Water Week in Stockholm. This challenge is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (MFA-NL) collectively. Through Securing Water for Food, the goal of this challenge is to source and accelerate innovations in the following areas that will enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution:
- Water Efficiency and Reusing Wastewater
- Water Capture and Storage
- Salinity and Salt Water Intrusion
More information regarding “Securing Water For Food: A Grand Challenge For Development” can be found on their website and an overview of all the finalists can be found here.
From a total number of 520 applicants from 90 countries, we were selected as one of the 39 winners with our project proposal “The Third Eye: Flying Sensors to Support Farmers’ Decision Making”. This project uses well-tested low cost Flying Sensors (UAVs) that provide high-resolution spatial information to smallholder farmers beyond the visible spectrum (“Third Eye”) to make better decisions on where and when to put farmers’ limited resources. This will be achieved by setting up a network of local Flying Sensor operators, each serving about 400 farmers, starting in two areas in Mozambique. These low cost Flying Sensors are equipped with infrared sensors that detect crop stress about two weeks before the naked eye can observe this. Moreover, by providing the spatial data at an ultra-high resolution (2×2 cm), smallholder farmers can optimize the application of their resources (seeds, water, fertilizer, human power) in terms of location and timing. It has been proven that by using this kind of information substantial savings in water and other resources can be achieved, leading to securing water for food.