Smart-Irrigation-Systems_coverFood and Sustainability 

Smart Irrigation Systems: Watering Schedules Enhance Outdoor Water Use Efficiencies

Water shortage is one of the world’s most pressing issues today, and agriculture, being a labor-intensive activity, consumes a lot of it. As a result, a smart irrigation system that uses water wisely is necessary.

The rising need for sustainability, greater mechanization, and automation in agriculture, are projected to fuel the expansion of the global smart irrigation market. According to BIS Research, the global smart irrigation market was estimated to be at $1.26 billion in 2020, which is expected to grow with a CAGR of 13.69% and reach $2.75 billion by 2026.

To manage an irrigation system, smart irrigation systems estimate and evaluate the loss of existing plant moisture, restoring water as needed while limiting excess water consumption.

Irrigation scheduling is crucial for optimal water management in agricultural production, especially when water is scarce. A suitable irrigation scheduling plan is required to maximize water efficiency.

Get your free sample report here

What is Smart Irrigation?

Smart irrigation is a system that determines watering procedures based on weather or soil conditions. It means that irrigation is targeted for the specific region that is being watered, resulting in water-saving and maximizing crop or plant production.

The existence of a this controller is the easiest way to characterize smart irrigation. These devices assess either local weather temperatures or soil moisture and alter their watering schedules accordingly.

These systems are characterized by flexible watering or sprinkling schedules. Smart irrigation is a system that enables precise control of a big farm’s water demand, saving both money and water in the long term.

Even more crucially, because of the system’s enhanced accuracy, one can ensure that the plants are constantly at the proper moisture level, resulting in a better growth cycle.

Components of Smart Irrigation System

The controller and its associated sensors are the primary components, but they’re associated with the device one will use to operate the system. Apart from that, components of a smart irrigation system include:

• Water supply for the system, most typically a connection to a valve
• Agriculture pipes for each sprinkler
• Rotors or sprinklers to spread water
• Drip tubing in systems instead of overhead sprinkling

There are dedicated control pads available, but depending on the model, the control method might easily be the users’ smartphones.

Types of Smart Irrigation Controllers and their Roles

Weather-based and on-site soil moisture sensors are the two main types of smart irrigation controllers.

1. Weather-Based Smart Irrigation Controllers: Weather-based controllers, also known as evapotranspiration (ET) controllers, regulate irrigation schedules using local weather data.

Weather-Based Smart Irrigation Controllers
Fig: Weather-Based Smart Irrigation Controllers

Evapotranspiration is the combination of evaporation from the soil surface and transpiration by plant components. These controllers collect local weather data and adjust irrigation run-time to ensure that the landscape receives the right quantity of water.

Weather-based ET controllers have three fundamental types:

Signal-Based Controllers employ publicly accessible weather data to determine the ET value for a grass surface at the site.

Historic ET Controllers employ a water consumption curve that has been pre-programmed based on historical water use in different areas.

On-Site Weather Measurement Controllers employ weather data acquired on-site to manage continuous ET readings and water appropriately.

2. Soil Moisture Sensors: Soil moisture sensor-based smart irrigation controllers assess soil moisture content using one of many well-established methods. The sensors precisely assess the moisture level in the soil when buried in the root zone of turf, trees, or shrubs and send this signal to the controller.

Soil Moisture Sensors
Fig: Soil Moisture Sensors

Soil moisture sensor-based systems are classified into two types, discussed as follows:

Suspended cycle irrigation systems are programmed in the same way as typical timer controllers are, with watering schedules, start hours, and duration.

Water on-demand irrigation needs no duration programming of irrigation (only start time is required). It features a user-defined lower and upper threshold that enables irrigation when the soil moisture level falls below a certain level.

To summarize, the irrigation system is effective at regulating water based on soil moisture, temperature, and humidity. This automated technology reduces farmers’ involvement in farming, boosts crop yield, saves time, allows for remote monitoring and control, and is simple to implement.

Related posts

Leave a Comment