Romain Bitot, editing by Yanis Darras // Photo credit: MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP 08:27 am, May 26, 2023

Faced with the fear of water shortages everywhere in France this summer, it is time to save the resource. On the front line, communities that consume significant amounts to maintain their green spaces. But one company promises to make great savings thanks to sensors buried at the foot of trees.

Summer has not yet begun that the news is only talking about it. Drought has hit the France hard since the beginning of the year. After a glaring lack of rain on the territory this winter, the water tables are less filled than usual and raise fears of a particularly arid summer.

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Watering too frequently

So, to preserve the resource, everyone must save water, especially communities, which are major consumers. Among the ideas to reduce consumption, a Versailles company proposes an innovative device, unique in Europe, consisting of probes in the ground for drip management of watering green spaces.

Buried underground, the probes constantly analyze the moisture content in the soil, a real reservoir for plants. An analysis that optimizes watering. "Until now, we mainly looked at the weather. But the missing factor is the reservoir that is the earth. You can't decide anything without measuring," explains Michaël Fayaud, co-founder of Urbasense. "We used to water the trees in the city 10 to 12 times a year. With sensors and a few years of experience, we observe that trees actually need six or seven waterings, not 12 as we used to," he continues.

Up to 60% water savings

These adaptations are made possible by the sensors placed on the probes. They send the collected data directly to the computer of Suzanne, an agricultural engineer who synthesizes the results and sends an email to customers. "When it's green, it's because the situation is good. If we observe that the watering is not done, we go orange. And then, if after three or four weeks, while we have recommended watering, we still do not see it, then we go on alert and we call the customer, "she says at the microphone of Europe 1.

But this follow-up has a cost: 700 euros for the installation of a probe. An investment that would nevertheless save 30 to 60% of water, according to the founder of the company.