Although we are in mid-autumn, the drought emergency continues to be a concern for several Italian territories, particularly the northern regions. It is a crisis that seems to have been alleviated thanks to artesian wells, for which there has been strong interest this year, with many new drillings.
But what is the best time to search for water and proceed to drill the ground? We asked Vincenzo Orso, a pilot with HydroHunter, a company that conducts underground water exploration using innovative fixed-wing and multi-rotor, remotely piloted aircraft systems.
Vincenzo Orso, during the preparation phase of equipment for aerial subsurface scanning.
"The boom in requests most definitely occurs, as it happened especially this year, at the turn of spring and summer, precisely when farms are struggling to irrigate heat-stressed crops. Technological research with drones and subsequent drilling operations can be carried out at any time, but autumn is definitely the best time, as aquifers are at lower levels, such that all operations are facilitated."
"If we find an aquifer with a limited water capacity in the fall, it means that it will only be able to fill up during the colder and rainier months of the year, thus allowing the farmer to have good amounts of water at the times of greatest need. During drier periods, our equipment does not find the water resource but a layer of permeable soil, usually made of gravel or sand, which allows us to tell whether the area scanned and analyzed could harbor water. Our success rate, depending thereafter on the area, the soil overflown, and the prior geophysical analysis, ranges from 80 to 95 percent. The demand, at this time, remains high and not only concerns Italy but even other continents, such as Africa and South America."
However, companies that have the opportunity to have a well on their land have to deal with rising energy prices, which make it very expensive to draw water from underground. However, on this issue, Orso clarified that; "The well requires a lot of electricity consumption, but fortunately, there are several sustainable solutions on the market. With a 1kw/h photovoltaic panel system or a small wind turbine blade, you can easily cover the energy needs needed to keep the pumps running."