The recent summers, particularly the drought years of 2018/2019, pose a sustained burden to the water balance. With increasing average temperatures, stable, small-scale weather conditions, and changes in annual rainfall distribution, climate change is leading to changes in groundwater formation and declining local groundwater levels. Lower Saxony has already identified downward trends in groundwater levels at many measuring points throughout the state, particularly the measuring points in geest areas. Groundwater extraction has the potential to exacerbate this trend, particularly in times of drought.
With this digital water consumption measurement, we aim to implement a convenient solution – with the help of T-Systems – that optimizes our water management for field irrigation in the long term and enables reliable, data-driven decisions.
The agriculture sector is one of the largest users of groundwater. Diepholz district in Lower Saxony is no exception. To irrigate their fields, farmers usually rely on wells that draw groundwater. Recording the consumed water volumes represents an important contribution toward optimizing – and potentially reducing – water use in the long term. It could also help ensure a more environmentally benign use of groundwater in the long term. Previously, farmers had to visit the water meter-equipped well locations regularly to satisfy the extensive documentation requirements. The extraction volumes were usually recorded as handwritten lists, which were submitted to the water authorities at the end of the irrigation season. The consolidated extraction volumes, which were reviewed by the water authorities, then had to be reported to the corresponding state authorities, together with the water extraction fees. It was a complex process. Could a digital solution help?