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Rural broadband enables smart and responsive water management

In this video, Jouke Velstra, Director and Senior Consultant at Acacia Water, explains how the EU-funded ‘Farmers measure water’ project combines high-speed rural broadband and state-of-the-art sensors to help farmers and water authorities in the Netherlands to better manage water usage in the face of climate change. Through rapidly relaying data on soil moisture, temperature and salinity, farmers and water authorities work together to keep crops healthy, improve water and soil quality, and reduce water waste.

Title over close-up photo of water spraying over a healthy leafy crop: Rural broadband enables smart and responsive water management

European Broadband Competence Offices Network Support Facility

Co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, this project was a nominee in the ‘Digital Futures’ category of the 2021 Rural Inspiration Awards organised by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD). Its participatory monitoring process facilitated greater understanding and collaboration between farmers and water authorities. While water management problems differ between regions, the process of jointly collecting, learning from and acting on data is applicable across regions.

As Mr Velstra explains: “We need fast internet in rural areas because a lot of farmers and water authorities have to make decisions on an hourly basis. If we take a measurement and only see the results in a week’s time, it is too late: the problem has already occurred. If you have fast internet, you have direct access to your data and can decide on the spot what to do”.

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European Broadband Competence Offices Network Support Facility