Australian Teen Develops Revolutionary Sprinkler That Will Reduce Water Waste

A 15-year-old's automated sprinkler system scans for light, humidity, temperature, and soil moisture before watering plants.

Credit: UNSW

Credit: UNSW

Did you know? Since 1940, the world’s water use has quadrupled whilst the world’s population has only doubled. In result, 1.8 billion people lack access to fresh water. Fortunately, a brilliant teenager’s recent invention may help solve the issue of needless water usage sooner rather than later.

UNSW reports that 15-year-old Sabiqul Hoque recently won a national engineering award for the automated sprinkler system he developed. A student from James Ruse Agricultural High, he took first place at the national Made By Me engineering competition. Participants were asked to either design an experiment or develop an invention – and Sabiqul was one of the only teens who did the latter.

The invention Hoque presented scans for light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, rain intensity, and wind speed before watering plants. It is expected to help reduce the amount of water that is wasted while over-watering plants. Incredibly, the original prototype took only two months two develop. The 15-year-old hopes to improve the pump before going forward with the project. He told UNSW:

“I came up with the idea after watching the sprinkler system at school, which is timer-based and not very good – it sprinkles water even when the plants don’t need it. So we mostly run it on manual, and turn it on when water is needed. But if we forget, plants can go for days without being watered.”

“Basically, what it does is look at the average temperature, and if it is above 20˚C, it counts this as a high, so it knows to turn on the pump – unless the soil is already wet from rain,” Sabiqul added. “The light detector indicates if it’s day or night; if it’s night and it’s hotter than 20˚C and humid, the sprinkler will come on because the plant needs it.”

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