The global smart irrigation market was valued at USD 1,340 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 4,677 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 14.9% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Smart irrigation system monitors weather, soil, and water conditions by automating the system using controllers, sensors, and meters, and are efficient, data-driven, and cost-effective. Adopting an intelligent irrigation system can eliminate various glitches by using controllers that help analyze and detect the problem with real-time irrigation system monitoring, allowing farmers to take corrective actions. The adoption of IoT-based architecture and strict government policies for water conservation increases the demand for the smart irrigation market.
A smart irrigation system comprises controllers, sensors, and water flow meters. They help reach, track, and control every corner of land regardless of their size, which may help farmers and other end-users through easy farming and other end-users. However, smart irrigation systems have a broad scope of automating the overall irrigation system, enhancing the output with controlled land environmental conditions such as moisture, temperature, and humidity. This automation can be accomplished using controllers, sensors, and other components created and designed to replace conventional irrigation systems with water-saving ones.
In addition, the smart irrigation system utilizes advanced weather data, soil moisture information, temperature, and wind-flow sensors and controllers to reduce the wastage of water and maintain plant health and quality. As a result, the growth of the global smart irrigation market is estimated to be driven by the use of IoT technology in agriculture and related fields, as well as the coming together of multiple control functions.
Governing bodies across the globe are focusing on utilizing information and communication (ICT) technologies to improve day-to-day operational performance and the quality of life in urban areas by investing in developing smart cities. They focus on reducing the consumption of depleting resources, cost, increasing sustainability, and others. However, with freshwater being a critical resource, governments are focusing on adopting and implementing smart irrigation systems that optimize water usage in their end-use applications, including agricultural and non-agricultural purposes. In order to achieve this, irrigation controllers are essential for detecting weather and soil moisture parameters that promote plant health and, consequently, enhance production (in the case of farmers).
Additionally, they help save water and automate irrigation tasks while shifting off manual tasks. Thus, the growing focus on developing smart cities and the increasing need for efficient irrigation systems are likely to fuel the smart irrigation controller adoption, thereby driving the growth of the global smart irrigation market during the forecast period.
Land fragmentation has increased the number of landholders holding small portions across the globe, especially in China, India, and the Mediterranean region, owing to the traditional land inheritance and transmission systems. This land fragmentation has slowed the implementation of smart irrigation systems due to the increased cost of implementing the components, inefficiencies due to the loss of productive lands affecting mechanization, high cost of production, incremental use of pipes and the electrical wiring utilized for automated drip irrigation systems, and time loss. These things affect the demand for smart irrigation technology and make people worried about its use on broken land, restraining the growth of the global smart irrigation market.
Plants need water for proper growth, whether in a lush vineyard, a swaying crop field, or a verdant golf course. However, landscape managers and farmers are gradually seeking to automate their irrigation systems to ensure efficiency in utilizing water reservoirs. Networks or communication technologies incorporated in smart irrigation systems to monitor and control the machine and achieve efficiency in irrigation play a critical role. Additionally, they enable end-users to precisely schedule watering of their fields or landscapes according to plant needs and environmental conditions by monitoring the soil moisture and weather parameters recorded by the sensing technologies. Hence, well-established network systems with enhanced reliability can help achieve the desired goals for which the smart irrigation system was designed and developed.
Furthermore, continuous research and development (R&D) in technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, automation, and so on can be done to solve problems like protecting networks from cyber threats, remote metering and leak detection, data integration, and advanced analytics. Therefore, the global smart irrigation market participants should be able to increase their operations during the forecast period because communication technologies are continually improving.
The global smart irrigation market is segmented into components, system types, and applications.
By component, the global market is divided into controllers, sensors, water flow meters, and others.
The controller segment owns the highest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% over the forecast period. Smart irrigation controllers adjust watering schedules and run times to meet each landscape's needs. These controllers are a tried-and-true method of increasing outdoor water efficiency. Smart irrigation controllers monitor the weather, soil conditions, evaporation, and plant water use to automatically modify the watering schedule to the actual requirements of the site, unlike standard irrigation controllers that function on a preset programmed schedule and timers. In addition, smart controllers can ensure an automated watering system is shut off when it rains. The watering schedule is automatically determined depending on weather conditions and does not require seasonal monitoring or modifications.
Flow meters detect the presence of flowing water and send signals to indicating devices. They can utilize this data to catch unplanned low- and high-flow episodes. Many water flow meters with indication devices can also be used to determine the flow rate and volume of water delivered to an irrigation system. A flow meter is a tool that gauges the speed at which water moves through an irrigation system and transmits that information to an irrigation controller, which is quite helpful in identifying issues and conserving water. For example, a flow meter works with an irrigation controller to fix things if water is flowing at an unusually high rate.
By system type, the global market is divided into weather-based controller systems and sensor-based controller systems.
The weather-based controller systems segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% during the forecast period. Weather-based controllers sometimes called evapotranspiration (ET) controllers, modify irrigation schedules based on current weather. Daily temperature, wind, solar radiation, and humidity measurements are made at your property by a weather station or remote weather service. Smart irrigation controllers use this information along with site-specific factors like soil type and sprinkler application rate to change the lengths of watering runs or their schedules. It is a method of figuring out how much water is needed for a landscape. The three main categories of weather-based ET controllers are signal-based, historical, and on-site weather measurements.
Sensor-based controllers use a soil moisture sensor placed belowground in the lawn's root zone to assess water needs rather than weather data. The sensor calculates the volumetric water content of the soil. The percentage of total soil volume occupied by water is referred to as volumetric water content. The controllers can be programmed to open the valves and begin irrigation when the volumetric water content reaches a user-defined threshold. There are two sensor-based controller systems, suspended cycle irrigation systems and water-on-demand irrigation.
By application, the global market is divided into agricultural and non-agricultural.
The non-agricultural segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% over the forecast period. Smart irrigation systems are used for non-agricultural purposes such as residential, turf and landscape, golf courses, and others. A smart irrigation system allows residential users to automatically set a timer that turns lawn sprinklers on and off. These systems have overrides that can stop the sprinklers from running when nature takes over watering the lawn, i.e., when it rains.
Smart irrigation system helps turf owners schedule the watering and soil moisture content check to keep the ground in check for the players to play and save the water from getting wasted. The landscape is an aesthetic area of horticulture that deals with the placement of attractive plants in a charming manner. These use smart irrigation for scheduling and maintaining the optimum soil moisture in check. Additionally, golf course associations use smart irrigation systems to adjust water levels in response to soil moisture and weather forecasts. Other applications of smart irrigation systems include monitoring and irrigating pasture land, school or university campuses, industrial structures, sports grounds, and forestry to ensure that water use is kept at an ideal level.
Smart irrigation systems, such as greenhouses and open fields, are used for agricultural purposes. A greenhouse smart irrigation system is a micro-irrigation system used in greenhouses. This irrigation system delivers optimal water and nutrient levels directly to the root zone while minimizing wastage and evaporation. Smart irrigation open-field agricultural systems, if properly designed and programmed, can save money and aid in water conservation. In addition, programming automatic agricultural systems can promote water conservation to discharge more accurate volumes of water in the field. Compared to other industries, there have been no significant technological improvements in agriculture.
By region, the global smart irrigation market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW).
North America is the highest contributor to the global smart irrigation market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period. The US is at the top of the market, but Canada is expected to grow the fastest in the future. The growth of the regional market is projected to be fueled by the introduction of IoT and the convergence of various control features, growing government programs to encourage water conservation, expansion of smart cities, and the demand for effective irrigation systems. The industrial sector is adopting IoT devices in Mexico and the US more frequently to automate processes.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.3% over the forecast period. Europe's industrial and agriculture sectors seek to adopt smart irrigation solutions and develop new solutions for various use case scenarios. Technological developments in intelligent irrigation products and solutions, expansion in cloud computing platforms, and increased adoption of smartphones, smart wearable devices, and smart consumer appliances are the key factors driving the market growth. Additionally, the market in the region is expected to increase as the use of smart irrigation systems in various industries, such as sports and agriculture, enables monitoring the moisture level of playing fields and stadiums of football and cricket, which offers historical insights and other data related to keeping the fields fit for playing conditions.
In Asia-Pacific, smart irrigation is gaining pace significantly as the region's agricultural industry is developing, and various countries are opting for smart irrigation solutions for reliability and enhancing market efficiency. There is a large market for smart irrigation systems in Asia-Pacific because of the region's widespread use of such systems. The smart irrigation market's expansion in China is fueled by the country's growing population, which depends on agriculture, especially paddy crops. These crops need more water and optimum soil moisture to generate good produce from the land. Hence, farmers in this country have started adopting smart irrigation systems with sensors to monitor water level, soil moisture content, and temperature, contributing to the market expansion in China and regional growth.
The rest of the world comprises the Middle East and Africa and Central and South America. The Middle East and Africa region is expected to be a lucrative market for smart irrigation vendors. The growth of smart cities and the need for efficient irrigation systems to fuel smart irrigation controller adoption. Moreover, some countries in this region have arid lands and water scarcity, which are the key factors boosting the adoption of smart irrigation systems as they help ensure the optimal use of water and its conservation. Central and South America region is witnessing significant growth in the market. The demand for IoT-based automatic smart irrigation systems is rapidly growing in emerging economies such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Chile. Brazil has high agricultural productivity, and smart irrigation systems can ensure a good crop yield, boosting exports.
The key players in the global market are
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