Aakash Bhattacharyya, Lisa Academy West Middle School, Little Rock, AR
Mentor: Ms. Amber Butte
Category: Energy & Transportation
Project Title: Electronic Soil Moisture Sensor: Save Water, Save the Future
Access to good quality water is a growing concern. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, in 2010, approximately 29% of surface water and 65% of fresh groundwater are used for agricultural needs of water in irrigation, and half of that is because of irrigation inefficiency and water wastage. Therefore, improving irrigation water usage efficiency is significant. Irrigation water practice efficiency depends on applying irrigation water at the right time, right place, and right amount. In my project, I made a Soil Moisture Sensor to reduce unnecessary water consumption. I used a NAND 4011 circuit to make a soil moisture sensor. Essentially what this does is making it light up the bulb only when there is not enough water. I tested the efficiency of my circuit using 3 different soil types (regular, potting, river-bed soil) with different amounts of water. I observed how my circuit performed. My control variables were Soil amount, and the circuit (equal distance between 2 resistors). I tested 3 times for each soil type and water amount combination. After, conducting the experiment and looking at my circuit. I have concluded that my circuit is indeed sensitive and is functional and able to reduce unnecessary water consumption. Also, based on my data, the type of soil minorly matters when using my soil moisture sensor. My hypothesis was proven correct because my soil moisture sensor indeed worked. In the future, I would like to improve my sensor to measure the exact amount of water needed.