How could sensor networks help with agricultural water management issues? Optimizing irrigation scheduling through networked soil-moisture sensors

Mark Rivers, Neil Coles, H. Zia, N.R. Harris, R. Yates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 IEEE. Irrigated agriculture provides 40% of the World's food from 20% of the agricultural land but uses 70% of all global freshwater withdrawals. However, even supposedly efficient and well-managed irrigation systems waste up to 50% of the water applied to the crops under them. Meeting the food needs of an increasing world population from a static or even decreasing land base will, therefore require improved efficiencies in irrigated agriculture and better use of these finite water resources. The first part of this paper reports on a field-based research project which examined a suite of conventional and alternative irrigation systems which were installed at a farm in south west Australia and assessed and compared in terms of their Water Use Efficiency. All 'alternative' systems outperformed the conventional surface (flood) irrigation systems with comparative water savings of around 50%. The second part of the paper assesses the potential Water Use Efficiency improvements at farm and system-scales which could be achieved through linking these irrigation systems to wireless soil-moisture sensor networks which are being developed by the authors and which are reported in detail in associate papers. Improving irrigation scheduling and management by better (and, where appropriate, automatic) links to near real-time soil moisture data is shown to produce water savings of up to 30 GL per year at the irrigation system scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAS 2015 - 2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium, Proceedings
Pages1-6
VolumeN/A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS) - Kolovare, Croatia
Duration: 13 Apr 201515 Apr 2015

Conference

Conference2015 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS)
Country/TerritoryCroatia
CityKolovare
Period13/04/1515/04/15

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