N-Drip helps battle global water shortage

The world is facing water scarcity, and it is an especially big deal in Arizona.

The passage of the Drought Contingency Plan was a great starting point for helping address water issues in the state, but it can only do so much. 

Agriculture consumes roughly 70 percent of global water resources and one of the most effective methods to help the water scarcity problem is irrigation management. However, switching to a more efficient irrigation system can cost farmers a lot of money. 

Gravity Micro Irrigation company N-Drip is working to battle the water shortage by transforming flood irrigation on farms to their specialized drip irrigation technology. 

“We have a vision,” N-Drip CEO Eran Pollak said. “The vision is to be substantial in the battle against water shortage globally and for that, we need to convert as many fields as possible from flood to N-Drip.” 

The problem with flood irrigation —which accounts for 85 percent of irrigated water — is that it wastes 70 percent of water, lowers yield, causes land and mineral waste, land depletion and water contamination. 

According to N-Drip, it has been too expensive for a widespread conversion away from flood because of pre-seasonal investments, steep energy costs and water filtration, but N-Drip’s Gravity Micro Irrigation System would change that. 

“We have a field a bit south from Phoenix and we know from the farmer experience that in order to change the experience, to convert it from flood to drip, he needed to pay {thousands of] dollars,” Pollak said. “The N-Drip solution…cost was less than $600. Therefore, the conversion becomes much more attractive [because] you can recoup the investment in the first year.”

N-Drip is able to provide a cost-effective alternative by combining the simplicity of flood irrigation with the high yields and precision of conventional drip irrigation. The system uses the existing field infrastructure without the need for pumping facilities or filters that are used in other irrigation technologies. 

Their system reduces water and energy use by up to 70 percent while also greatly reducing the cost of installation.

“N-Drip is designed to perform efficient irrigation exactly like drip irrigation… [It’s] efficient in the way that the plug gives the water directly to the root,” Pollak said. 

“N-Drip offered to convert our flood irrigated sugarcane field into a micro irrigation system powered only by gravity,” Kevin Fitzpatrick from Crook Farm said. “Naturally we had our concerns, but it sounded too good to pass. Results after the first harvest were pleasing…we saved at least 45 percent in water use compared to our flooded field and achieved a very good yield. We are highly satisfied with the support we received from N-Drip’s team & will continue to use N-Drip system.” 

According to Pollak, N-Drip currently has four projects in Arizona and is continuing to expand. He said they came to Arizona because of the state’s water shortage effect on agriculture, the state’s business climate and the farmers. 

“It’s much easier for us to bring in new technology for a market that knows how to deal with and absorb such technology… Arizona is extremely important, and the farmers of Arizona are great priority clients,” he added. 

N-Drip was also globally recognized with the Overall Award for Excellence in Disruptive Technologies by the Financial Times/International Finance Corporation Transformational Business Awards in London. 

“[N-Drip] has developed a solution that significantly increases the efficient use of water and energy in agriculture,” the judges said.

“[N-Drip] is the answer to [the] global water shortage in the way that we can really change and convert flood irrigation all over the world,” Pollak said. “If you ask me what I love, it’s [everything].” 

The company’s main goal is to convert roughly 600,000 acres in the next five years. To learn more, click here

Emily Richardson

Add comment

Subscribe to the Dry Heat

Get updates on the most important news delivered right to your email. Fully personalized options. No SPAM. Unsubscribe anytime.

Sign Me Up!

Let’s Get Social

Chamber Business News wants to connect with you. Follow us, tweet, share, post, comment... however you get social is the perfect way to connect.