Watering\irrigation optimization business case

The Irrigation water can be a limited resource in seasons where rainfall is below average. In other farms on reticulated irrigation schemes, water entitlements can be reduced below 100% in drought years. Combined with low soil moisture reserves from lack of winter and spring rainfall, water stress may be unavoidable. The water usage must be rationed to minimize or avoid water stress at critical times, so that the best yield and quality is produced from the amount of water available for irrigation.

Good irrigation techniques are essential for both drought management and regulated deficit irrigation. Water stress must be monitored to determine if irrigation is necessary during a drought or if stress levels. This is best achieved by measuring soil moisture. Over-irrigation should be avoided because it wastes water and is detrimental for plants. Above all, accurate records must be kept for future reference and fine-tuning of an irrigation control system.

Water stress may also have less obvious or indirect effects on product yield and quality. For example, reducing berry size increases the skin to juice ratio, which may increase the concentration of anthocyanins and phenolics. Water stress may affect the chemical breakdown or formation of important berry acids and flavours. Indirectly, water stress may reduce the shading of product. Shading has been shown to decrease fruit color, and the concentration of tartrate and soluble solids, and, increase pH and the concentration of malate and potassium. The incidence of disease may also be reduced through opening up the canopy and keeping the bunches loose because berries are small.

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Rolling out the closed loop irrigation technology begins with deploying high-accuracy  sensors in each irrigation zone. Sensors are installed at required depth (depending on the type of crop) to ensure that water is only supplied to areas where there is an active root system, so no water goes to waste. Sensors are UV level, temperature and moil moisture. Sensors communicate wireless via  gateway. Each gateway communicates with a network – either a private network or an existing low-power wide-area network. The centralized platform combines multiple factors into account like current moisture level, average moisture level across the zones as well as feather forecast prediction. This application pushes the information to auto valves to enable irrigation to release water at intervals to accurately meet desired moisture levels for optimal plant growth. 

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1. Each irrigation zone (or valve) is equipped with a remote sensor station platform and soil moisture sensors at various depths. The restive solid-state sensors accurately respond to the entire soil moisture range used for agriculture. At pre-set time range, the sensor station reports to the central platform UV level, temperature and moisture.

2. The SaSIoT platform analyzes incoming data in real time. Collecting multiple factors into account. Average moisture level across the zones, optimal growth plan, feather forecast. When\If required it creates an automatic task for the valve to start irrigation cycle for designed interval.

3. All communications are securely encrypted

4. The turnkey smart irrigation and soil moisture management solution presents the sensors’ data on the charts and dashboards as well as on the GEO maps. 

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Fusion of automatic irrigation and 

Water pressure\current flow management ensures the system provides a reliable and constant water supply, at a required pressure.

Excessive water pressure can lead to breaks and leaks in water water pipes or incorrect irrigation area covers. The combined fusion algorithm is controlled by the system to ensure the correctness across all watering zone.

Water pressure\current flow management has a number benefits as it:

  • Reduces water demand and leaks to help meet water conservation targets

  • Improves the reliability and continuity of supply by reducing pipe breaks

  • Reduces pressure fluctuations to achieve more consistent water pressure across 

  • Extends the life of your water supply chain

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​During each irrigation season, the Commission assesses the volume of water expected to be under it’s control so that it can be allocated to the State. Only one assessment may be necessary if resources are ample and the reserve of water held in storage at the end of the season is forecast to exceed 2,500 GL.

When resources are scarce, numerous assessments over the irrigation season may be necessary. The main decision to be made by the Commission under these circumstances relates to trading-off State supply in the current year against security of supply in the following year; which  is directly related to the size of the reserve storage. Also, under severe drought conditions, the Commission will consider declaring a period of water restriction if the forecast reserve is less than 2,500 GL. The last time a period of restriction was declared was in 1967/68.

The proposed solution can help you better control the irrigation without sacrificing\compromising the quality of the final product. It also help to preserve out most precious natural resource as water and save your money on water bills.