High-tech drought-fighting systems

Held from 9 to 13 November at the Bologna Exhibition Centre, "EIMA Idrotech" is the exhibition specialising in technologies for water management in agriculture. Located within the great exhibition of agricultural mechanics, and already with 210 exhibiting industries, the show offers technological answers to the water emergency that is now affecting all Italian regions. In the first four months of this year - according to CNR data - the amount of rain has halved compared to the average of the last thirty years.

Agriculture is by far the most 'water-intensive' productive sector, if it is true that 70 per cent of all fresh water withdrawn in Italy from surface or groundwater sources is used in the primary sector, and that no less than 12 billion cubic metres of water are used for irrigation in the course of a year - source: Istat. Reducing water consumption in agriculture therefore means saving substantial water resources, a priority need especially in the face of ongoing climate change and increasingly frequent drought emergencies. In the four months between January and April this year - according to data released by the CNR (National Research Council) - cumulative rainfall in Italy was even 50% lower than the average for the thirty-year period 1991/2020. The deficit is even heavier in northern Italy where, again taking the 1991-2020 average as a reference, barely a third of the rainfall normally expected in the first few months of the year fell. The answer can only be technological, given that the most advanced systems for pumping and transporting water, for irrigation in open fields and specialised crops, assisted by sophisticated electronic and computerised systems, are today capable of optimising water use, avoiding waste, and coping with emergencies. EIMA Idrotech - the exhibition specialising in irrigation systems that will be held at the Bologna Exhibition Centre from 9 to 13 November as part of EIMA International - is one of the most important exhibition events in this specific sector. To date - according to data communicated by FederUnacoma, the association of agricultural machinery manufacturers that is the direct organiser of the show - 210 exhibiting companies have already confirmed their participation in Idrotech with complete ranges and all new products. About half of these companies are from abroad, representing the main producing countries, among which Spain, Turkey, Israel and the United States stand out for the number of participating companies. The organisers state that the registration deadlines for EIMA Idrotech are still open, and this suggests that the final number of participants could be even higher, as well as the exhibition area of the Show, which currently already covers over 10 thousand square metres. Conferences on the drought emergency and training events on irrigation technologies will be held during the days of the exhibition, precisely to highlight the quantum leap possible with new-generation systems.

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