Hear from OzRiver, second place winners of the H2O Hack

Story by Jiawei Hou.

The agriculture industry plays a fundamental role in Australia’s economy and it is severely impacted by climate change. It is one of the most climate-vulnerable industries, sensitive to changing rainfall, temperature and extreme weather events. Access to better water and climate data can help farmers identify water risks and prepare for adverse conditions.

This H2OHack gave us a great opportunity to develop a solution using satellite observation to address the issue of water resilience and efficiency in the agriculture industry. Inspired by the keynotes and fruitful discussions with mentors from diverse backgrounds, we came up with this idea of a “3D Farm Water”, a real-time irrigation planning tool. This tool is designed to provide accurate estimates of water volume in rivers, floodplains, wetlands and on-farm storages for assisting farmers to make decisions of irrigation water use and water trading under different climate conditions. By using this interactive web tool, people have access to a useful set of tools and information for irrigation planning, including current hydro-climate conditions, estimates of potential water use and crop productivity.

All of us had an intensive and productive week, we worked collaboratively to generate the information using satellite and airborne data and working on the functionality to visualise them in a web tool. We benefited greatly from the mentoring sessions which helped us refine our solutions iteratively. It was a great experience for all of us to learn how to plan a business from scratch and think strategically. We hope to get opportunity to further develop our solution after this hackathon and make it available to farmers and agribusiness. We believe this space-tech driven, innovative web tool will enhance regulation, transparency and efficiency for water trading market, as a result, lessen the impact of climate change on agriculture through improved water efficiency. For more information, please contact: [email protected].

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