In a context of climate emergency, sustainability, and the conscious use of natural resources, such as water, is a priority. In Catalonia, the alert for drought has driven municipalities, such as Esplugues de Llobregat, to promote a responsible use of irrigation water with the aim to reduce its overall use. These efforts should also work to maintain public areas green as they are linked to the mental and physical well-being of the population.

Given that the irrigation needs of green areas are linked to a permanent climate variation, it is essential to find innovative technological solutions to optimize and reduce the use of irrigation water, therefore promoting a sustainable use of water resources in the municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona.

The project contributes to the following SDGs:

The solution

Trigger Systems has been the winner of the open innovation call launched in Esplugues de Llobregat presenting an autonomous irrigation solution that allows to automate irrigation through virtual sensors and AI.
Trigger Systems’ intelligent autonomous irrigation platform has different controllers that decide, through more than 300 multiple parameters, how much and when to apply water. The system learns from multiple sources such as the environment, user behavior, weather data, weather forecasts, soil moisture sensors, flow meter, pressure and uses satellite and video channel for control feedback.
Given that irrigation represents more than 70% of water consumption, the objective of the pilot is to promote a responsible consumption of water for irrigation that helps to reduce its use, without losing the green areas that are considered quality spaces related to the mental and physical health of the population. The proposal consists of developing both the platform and the hardware to achieve an intelligent autonomous irrigation, capable of obtaining information and deciding autonomously the amount of water needed and the place for the next day’s irrigation.

All these sources of information allow daily control without the need for human action. The system is also capable of learning water distribution patterns and detecting any anomalies in the irrigation process, such as leaks or clogging, without the need for permanent system configuration. The system provides all the key performance indicators (KPIs) and data needed to ensure proper operation and savings.

The Pilot

The pilot is in the process of implementation (July 2023- March 2024). Its objective is to test Trigger Systems’ solution, TRL 8, in the municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat, to validate the proposal and its impact in a real context.

The solution uses the innovative virtual soil moisture probes to self-monitor the water moisture levels in the soil, resulting highly accurate and scalable to adapt all the water needs of the plants to the meteorological parameters. In addition, the solution allows irrigation scheduling, such as pulse irrigation, which ensures water efficiency and plant resistance. On the other hand, the hardware can use multiple communication protocols such as LoRa, NBIOT and 5G to provide better communication and information and can be used as a battery, solar or centralized system covering all the different existing formats of modern controllers.

Expected results

The pilot objective is to test the Trigger Systems tool with the aim of allowing: 

  • Reduce water consumption (more than 50%), using new irrigation methods, which also facilitates better disease resistance.
  • Improve plant resistance to diseases and water scarcity.
  • Energy savings by shifting operating loads using more solar and wind energy.
  • Energy cost savings by using the spot market as a factor in deciding on daily scheduling hours.