Irrigated agriculture represents the largest proportion of consumptive freshwater use in the world. For that reason, the challenge of sustainable food production in many communities begins with obtaining freshwater.

Most water pumps rely heavily on electricity, gas, or solar energy, and yet many rural areas in the developing world do not have access to power sources. “In absence of a cost-effective alternative, farmers manually carry water for many hours a day or depend only on rainfall,”...

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