Precision Irrigation

iP Solu­tions announces the pub­li­ca­tion of  “Pre­ci­sion Irri­ga­tion: A Method to Save Water and Energy While Increas­ing Crop Yield, a Tar­geted Approach for Cal­i­for­nia Agri­cul­ture” by Gary Marks.

Crop irri­ga­tion require­ments vary in time with weather and soil con­di­tions. Pre­ci­sion
irri­ga­tion pro­vides a means for eval­u­at­ing a crop’s water require­ments and a means for
apply­ing the right amount at the right time. Often in the lit­er­a­ture, pre­ci­sion irri­ga­tion is referred to as irri­ga­tion sched­ul­ing: That is sched­ul­ing based on envi­ron­men­tal data, whether that data comes from local field sen­sors or from more global sources such as regional mete­o­ro­log­i­cal information.

Apply­ing pre­ci­sion irri­ga­tion prac­tices offers sig­nif­i­cant poten­tial for sav­ing water,
energy, and money. Fur­ther, it has the poten­tial to increases crop yield. There is an
addi­tional pos­i­tive envi­ron­men­tal impact from pre­ci­sion irri­ga­tion in that farm runoff, a major source of water pol­lu­tion, can be reduced.

While pre­ci­sion irri­ga­tion has value for all types of irri­ga­tion in any region of the world, this paper focuses on the irri­ga­tion of Cal­i­for­nia agri­cul­ture, which uses nearly 80% of the state’s water and more than ten bil­lion Kilo­watt hours of elec­tric­ity annu­ally. That is enough elec­tric­ity to power one mil­lion typ­i­cal Amer­i­can house­holds each year. The approx­i­mate power plant capac­ity required to power Cal­i­for­nia irri­ga­tion through the months of May through Octo­ber is 2500 MW, which is equiv­a­lent to 250 Min-Nuke power plants run­ning at an aver­age of 10MW each. The car­bon foot­print asso­ci­ated
with the power is approx­i­mately six mil­lion met­ric tons of CO2 per year.

See full paper…