Agriculture typically consumes ~70-75% of regional water supply in the Maipo Basin of Chile. Precision irrigation in Chile’s Maipo basin is a priority with potential to increase agricultural productivity, reduce water demand, and to protect groundwater resources. There are growing developments of precision irrigation projects in the Maipo Basin, however, financial incentives are required to expand farmer engagement and encourage widespread adoption of technology that can help achieve large-scale water resilience outcomes. There is broad interest from farmers to scale up technology in order to conserve water used for irrigation in agriculture.
Kilimo Precision Agriculture uses “Big Data” solutions including a web-based app, satellite data, crop soil moisture tests, precipitation and irrigation inputs to provide real time irrigation demand information to support irrigation scheduling for farmers with high value crops. The Kilimo team will deploy and expand use of this irrigation technology with farmers in the Maipo Basin. Pilot analyses indicate that deployment of Kilimo systems will increase water use efficiency by 13% or more. In addition to water conservation, reduced water withdrawal correlates with decreased pumping costs for farmers with associated carbon emissions reductions (electricity from gas, coal, and petroleum make up more than 40% of the energy mix in Chile).