Irrigation Network Automation

Increased reliability in water supply.

Towards a more sustainable and productive agriculture

Irrigated land produces some 40% of the world’s food.  In fact, crop yields from irrigated agriculture can be twice that of agriculture that depends on rain only.   However many years of insufficient infrastructure maintenance and in some cases inadequate operation that has remained unchanged highlight the need of strategies to make agriculture more sustainable and productive and the need to modernise large scale irrigation.

But the issue of modernisation is not just about infrastructure. Large scale irrigation efficiency is also compromised by poor data collection, or data that is not real-time, making it hard to make good operational decisions.

For one our clients in rural Australia, a combination of lining a porous earthen channel system with EPDM rubber and installation of automated control gates not only allowed on-time and accurate farm supply and measurement but reduced losses in delivery from an historical average of 25% to around 7%. This has meant that it is now efficient to irrigation even in very dry years when water availability is low since losses are low and stable. The EPDM rubber was not only cheaper than concrete lining but has a longer lifespan.

For another client, in Spain, we retro-fitted automation and a SCADA system to the existing manual control structures for delivery to smaller canals: a cost-effective solution for real time information and control. Water use is now monitored and controlled in real time, resulting in water savings and improved efficiency because operations staff did not need to travel to the site to make changes or to monitor flows and could respond rapidly to changes in irrigators needs.

For another client in Spain, we’ve automated pumping systems into in-line storage reservoirs to make efficient use of variable electricity tariffs. These reservoirs then use gravity to feed a network of pipes providing enough pressure to irrigators to run spray irrigation on-demand.

Benefits

  • Greatly reduce the losses inherent in water delivery to irrigators.
  • Provide the ability to deliver to customers more in keeping with their own desire to improve on-farm productivity and efficiency or move to higher value crops.
  • Efficient to irrigation even in very dry years.
  • Respond rapidly to changes in irrigators needs.

Related Technologies


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