Automation and control in surface irrigation systems: current status and expected future trends

Koech, Richard and Smith, Rod and Gillies, Malcolm (2010) Automation and control in surface irrigation systems: current status and expected future trends. In: 2010 Southern Region Engineering Conference (SREC 2010), 11-12 Nov 2010, Toowoomba, Australia.

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Surface irrigation systems are the most popular methods for irrigating crops and pastures not only in Australia but the world over. However, these systems are often labour intensive and exhibit low water use efficiency. Rising labour costs especially in the developed world and competition for scarce water resources have generated renewed interest in the automation of surface irrigation systems.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current level of automation and control of surface irrigation systems. The automation techniques discussed utilise various devices including mechanical, electronic, pneumatic and hydraulic means. The use of telemetry is also discussed. With the almost universal access to high performance computers and fast internet, the concept of real-time control in surface irrigation is not far-fetched. Towards this end, an on-going research project at USQ aimed at modernising furrow irrigation by use of automatic control systems in real time is discussed

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © (2010) by Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice. USQ conference. Proceedings of this conference can be found at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 00:32
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2014 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: automation; real-time control; surface irrigation
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080101 Adaptive Agents and Intelligent Robotics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

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