Article

Battling Drought How Cellular IoT Can Help Turn the Tide

Life is a succession of cycles and at the heart of these cycles are the keys to transforming the world. Our planet is a prime example of this: its very existence is subject to a series of cyclical forces, internal and external, and there is always a return to the point of origin. The health of the Earth is not, as we know, at its best, and as its most disruptive occupants we have a responsibility and a stake in reversing the direction of its decline, and beginning a cycle of restoration and renewal. It is a daunting challenge, and if we were to rely on our hands alone it would be overwhelming. Fortunately we have a powerful tool to set the turbines of change in motion: the IoT.

June 2024 will be a month remembered for pointing out to the world the need to drive this change at a global level. Due mainly to two key dates: 5 June, World Environment Day, focused this year on land restoration and resilience to drought and desertification; and 17 June, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. These two days, on calendars around the globe, signify the great challenge of our generation to restore our planet to health.

The signs of negitive change on Earth have been prominent for too many years now. Drought and desertification levels have reached critical levels in many parts of the world and we have the capacity to reverse this. With the right technology, we can stop this negative cycle and start a new data-driven era of asset optimisation, intelligent monitoring and early decision making.

IoT applications to improve water management

Efficient use of water with IoT

Fortunately, the ecosystem of IoT-based technology solutions designed to improve natural resource management and optimise water use is growing every day, aligning with the aforementioned fight against desertification and drought. From humidity sensors and smart irrigation systems, to applications for leak detection in water supply systems, there are many applications that are gradually contributing to improving the health of the planet and helping us all move in the right direction. Let’s take a look at some of these applications.

  • Environmental sensors. Sensors for humidity, temperature and other environmental parameters that allow farmers to establish patterns and perform predictive tasks for intelligent crop management.
  • Smart irrigation systems. Irrigation devices to reduce water wastage with optimised data-driven operation.
  • Asset management. Remote monitoring of all types of assets to reduce unnecessary travel, and reduce unnecessary consumption of resources.
  • Water supply monitoring. Supply monitoring and leak detection so that water is not lacking where it is needed, nor is it wasted in locations that are already supplied.

The role of cellular connectivity in positive change through IoT

Positive impact of IoT in the world

In all these types of solutions, typically deployed in rural locations with difficult access to communications infrastructure, cellular connectivity is often the best option to ensure reliable, resilient and secure application operation. For data to flow securely and safely, devices need to have the right enabling technologies, and mobile networks offer multiple advantages across this ecosystem of devices.

  • IoT-specific technologies. Certain bearers, such as NB-IoT, LTE-M or even LTE Cat1-Bis, enable energy savings as they are particularly designed for IoT devices that do not need to constantly send and receive data and can ‘sleep’ for long periods, such as atmospheric pressure sensors that only need to send measurements a couple of times a day. Compatibility with PSM and eDRX allows battery life to be extended for years, saving both energy consumption and physical intervention trips.
  • Infrastructure and coverage. Working under global guidelines such as GSMA standards makes it easier to support international networks and applications in large-scale deployments of devices such as GPS asset locators.
  • IoT cybersecurity. Operating in private and protected environments increases the security of IoT devices against cyber threats. Add to this the use of anomaly detection tools or adherence to standards such as IoT SAFE to add an extra layer of security in critical applications such as water supply stations, and you have one of the most secure connectivity infrastructures in the entire IoT.es ecosystem of large-scale devices such as GPS asset locators.
  • Constantly evolving technologies. MNOs and VMNOs are constantly working around the globe to modernise their infrastructure and adapt it to the changing needs of the market, society and the planet. One example is the integration of satellite connectivity to backup cellular-based connectivity solutions, which is key for remote environments where mobile signal is not always available, and can be critical for the operation of irrigation systems in certain desertified areas.

A common struggle: People and technology

The IoT, and all the applications designed to improve the management of the planet’s resources, would not be possible without the human will to improve the world, to reverse the harmful effects of climate change and to water desertified regions with the hope of change. After many generations of taking from the planet, new connectivity technologies give us the opportunity to turn the tide and start being more responsible in the way we relate to the planet, with more measured processes and intelligent, data-driven decision-making.

IoT and people to save the planet

At Wireless Logic, we are committed to accelerate social and environmental transformation by connecting IoT applications that enhance life across the planet. Our solutions, spearheaded by the Conexa mobile network, help unlock IoT’s potential by connecting devices, networks, applications and Cloud in a secure and automated way. We add value throughout the entire product lifecycle to help many businesses achieve their goals and enable their ambitions to combat drought and desertification and achieve a more sustainable planet.

For more information on IoT trends, find out more about our connectivity solutions for agriculture, speak to one of our IoT experts on +44 330 056 3300 or fill in this form.

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