In recent months, the drought emergency caused by the absence of rainfall and aggravated by the extreme heat conditions of this torrid summer has generated more interest within the agricultural sector in drilling wells to provide water to heat-stressed crops.
"We scanned hundreds of hectares between June and the end of July, mostly in central and northern Italy, areas that have always been characterized by high water availability, but which this year are facing the most severe water emergency ever recorded. In spite of everything, the success rate was quite high. The lucky ones found aquifers with excellent cubic meters per second, so they were able to rescue the productions damaged by the prolonged drought; there have been those who have only managed to lift a few tens of liters of water per minute. For others, unfortunately, the availability of water was so limited that a drilling was not convenient," said Vincenzo Orso, of HydroHunter Italia, a company that deals with groundwater investigation using remotely piloted, fixed-wing and multi-rotor aircraft systems.
"There is a significant decline in groundwater and an increase in saline intrusion up to 80 km from the sea, so it is often necessary to dig deeper to find satisfactory aquifers. Initially, our team was able to identify the presence or absence of water up to 180 meters deep, but with the worsening of the water situation we had to make hardware and software changes that allowed us to scan the subsurface to more than 300 meters, thanks to higher electromagnetic pulses, but with a reduction in battery autonomy. In addition, in particular cases, and at the customer's request, to further increase the scanning depth we proceed to the installation of an electromagnetic wave generator that saturates the ground up to 1,200-1,500 meters."
Subsurface scanning with drone
HydroHunter Italia provides all farms with a free preventive and cognitive geophysical analysis, to assess the feasibility of finding water in the subsoil involved, in order to limit the costs of any investment for the construction of the well.