Innovation That Matters

It takes 109 litres of water to produce one 125 millilitre glass of wine | Photo source Jon Moore on Unsplash

Connected sensors monitor the health of wine grapes

Agriculture & Energy

The sensors can improve water efficiency by 30 to 50 per cent

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Spotted: The global wine industry is forecast to reach $457 billion (around €402 billion) by 2028. But wine production is a thirsty process. According to Water Footprint Network—a non-profit collaboration that aims to tackle the global water crisis—it takes 109 litres of water to produce one 125 millilitre glass of wine. And this in a world where the United Nations estimates that 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.

To help to tackle the issue, New Zealand agritech startup Croptide has developed technology to provide fruit and wine grape growers with water and nutrient readings through sensors directly connected to a plant’s stem tissues. This data is made available at the grower’s fingertips through their smartphone.

The internet-enabled sensors transmit data within seconds. By highlighting the precise amount of water needed by each plant, the technology can help growers to take measures to improve water efficiency. With climate change leading to increasing water scarcity around the globe, Croptide is betting that much higher precision management will become a necessity.

“Many regions around the world are facing dire water scarcity and growers are expressing the need for a quick and reliable method of gathering the critical data needed around water use and plant health,” explains Croptide Co-founder Hamish Penny.

The startup has recently raised USD$1 million (€0.89 million) in a pre-seed funding round led by Icehouse Ventures. This funding will be used to progress trials of Croptide’s technology with leading winemakers, including T&G Global, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Cloudy Bay New Zealand, and Indevin.

Other recent innovations spotted by Springwise that address water scarcity include a startup that grows plants in salt-degraded soils, and a mobile water filtration system.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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