Between drought, changing short- and long-term climate patterns and the ever-increasing cost of obtaining and sustaining a reliable labor force, the obstacles facing irrigation professionals are real and prolific.
In short, irrigating on Earth is tough enough.
What about irrigating on another planet? It’s a question that experts are already working to address, so it’s not a completely out-of-this-world thing to wonder.
This May the Fourth, a fan holiday that celebrates the franchise, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect and consider how irrigation might look in galaxies far, far away.
The planet of Tatooine is described as “a sparsely inhabited circumbinary desert planet located in the galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories. Part of a binary star system, the planet orbited two scorching suns, resulting in the world lacking the necessary surface water to sustain large populations.”
There’s a key part in that description that should answer much of the question of “How would you produce a bountiful harvest?” or “How would you maintain a verdant lawn?”
The answer is, on Tatooine, you probably won’t be seeing a lot of green (none, in fact) no matter how efficient your system is.
Farmers rest assured, however, as the opportunity to work the land is there. But it’s more of a work-the-atmosphere harvesting water and less like sowing your seed and reaping the reward.
Irrigation rating: 1/10
Economic rating for irrigation professionals: 1/10
Now we’re in business. Naboo is described as a “bountiful planet in the Chommell sector of the Mid Rim, in the Trailing Sectors and close to the border of the Outer Rim Territories” and its “surface comprised a vast array of different landscapes, from rolling plains and grassy hills to swampy lakes caused by the water-filled network of deep-sea tunnels. The swamps acted as a gateway to the world’s seas, where legendary creatures dwelt.”
Water. Water. Water!
Traditional irrigation on Naboo would almost definitely be possible, and when coupled with the vast expanse of groundwater available, it should be both plentiful and obtainable at a reasonable rate.
Irrigation rating: 9/10
Economic rating for irrigation professionals: 10/10
On the outer rim of the galaxy sits another sunny, tropical paradise planet named Hoth. Actually, Hoth is anything but. In fact, the planet is described as a “remote, icy planet” that “notably hosted Echo Base during the Galactic Civil War, the temporary headquarters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, until the Galactic Empire located them, initiating a major confrontation known as the Battle of Hoth.”
Echo Base may not seem like a relevant detail to those in the field of irrigation, but it could present an interesting opportunity for an ambitious Certified Irrigation Designer or Certified Irrigation Technician looking to grow food to support those who are stationed at the base. One might also anticipate that the courageous rebel fighters might also enjoy a lush green space within the confines of the base to decompress from the blinding snow pack on the other side of the garrison’s walls.
Irrigation rating: 0/10
Economic rating for irrigation professionals: 7/10