Tree T-Pee

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  1. Sustainability Issue (Water):

Declining availability of fresh water, one of the fundamental necessities in life, is becoming an increasing problem everyday. We simply cannot keep up with growing demand for fresh water, and the consequences are evident. Aquifers, which we rely on to supplement freshwater from surface water, are being drained at unsustainable rates. Because “agriculture is the leading use of water in the U.S. and around the world,” the lack of water from aquifers, in addition to the drought that certain areas face, is especially significant to farmers and their crop production. Correspondingly, limiting the amount of water used in agriculture without harming crop yields could have an enormous impact on global fresh water usage.

More information on aquifer depletion: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140819-groundwater-california-drought-aquifers-hidden-crisis/

  1. Summary of Technology (tree T-PEE):

tree-t-pee-1

  • Made of 100% recycled plastic, tree T-PEE is a cone shaped, water and nutrient containment system that allows water to be directed to the tree and allows for 90% less water needed
  • Originally made to protect against frost, the cone also raises temperatures 12 degrees by containing the warm well water that typically measures 72 degrees
  • Promotes deep root growth and rapid canopy development because the water is contained around each tree
  • Increase growth rates of up to 30%, causing fruit to grow faster
  • Also provides efficient use of fertilizers (can use 75% less than normal requirements) because it is being concentrated on the tree and not being wasted on weeds and grass
  • Another added bonus is critter control since the cone will prevent animals from eating and killing young trees

Sources:

  1. Stakeholders 
    • Farmers
    • Water Utilities
    • Sprinkler System Installers
  1. Next Steps
  • Sponsor a comparative water use study whereby (i) a control group of farmers water a certain number of trees as needed and (ii) a test group water the same numbers of trees producing the same fruit using the tree T-PEE, then test at the end of study to compare cumulative water use and fruit quality
  • Identify the top 10-20 water-scare farming regions
  • Seek distribution contracts with farm products distributors in those regions

 

UNI – LC3291
Fall 2017 – Week 3

 

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