Use Case 3: Irrigation System Management in Jalgaon

Challenges in irrigation:

  • In India, 80% of the total utilised water is used for irrigation;
  • The water is supplied to the fields without water quality monitoring, potentially causing problems related to crop growth and human health;
  • Irrigation is increasingly performed using more advanced irrigation methods such as drip and sprinkler systems, and their lifetime depends on the water quality;
  • The vast majority of farmers uses manually operated fertigation systems;
  • Due to fluctuations in the electric grid and the source water level and fouling of distributors, the flow rates vary, and the actual irrigated amount of water is not known;
  • Many farmers can use multiple sources of water and switch between them based on present and future availability.

Scope of the use case:

  • The LOTUS solution will be implemented in manually operated and in automated irrigation systems to improve the current practice of irrigation and fertilisation.

Key aims for improving water quality for irrigation systems:

  • To improve crop yield by improving water quality for irrigation and by optimising the use of fertilisers;
  • To enhance the sustainability of irrigation by the optimisation of irrigation schedules and by reducing fouling and clogging.

How LOTUS will improve water quality for irrigation systems:

  • LOTUS sensors will be used to provide information on the water quality from the different sources, enabling to optimise water quality and quantity;
  • Measurements of water quality will be taken before and after deployment of the LOTUS solution and compared;
  • Fertigation schedules that were validated in irrigation laboratories will be tested on field plots with different crops with and without the LOTUS sensor.

Current Developments:

  • Guidelines on the required amount of water and fertiliser depending on the crop growth stage are studied and will be implemented in a decision support system.
  • Two test fields are selected and prepared for the deployment and testing of the LOTUS sensor prototype.
  • A prediction model for the soil moisture depending on past, current and forecasted weather conditions is developed to enable predictive irrigation scheduling.

Outcomes of Use Case 3:

  • Enabling more efficient fertigation methods,
  • The average land holding in India is 2.5 to 3 hectars per water source, corresponding to a potential of 2.6 million solutions deployed.