Author(s): Navarro Navajas JM, Montesinos P, Poyato EC, Rodrguez Daz JA
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Abstract In recent years, improving water use efficiency has been one of the most important challenges for the agricultural sector. However, such improvements have led to the installation of pressurized irrigation systems which generally require more energy to operate, especially in plantations on sloping and mountainous lands. Thus, the reduction of energy use in these systems has also become a major issue. Irrigation network sectoring has been proposed as one of the most effective energy saving measures. Typically, however, the potential benefits of this management strategy have been evaluated by means of theoretical approaches in networks that were originally designed to supply water on demand and not after water application in real irrigation districts designed following sectoring strategies. In this work, this measure is applied to an irrigation district devoted to olive grove production in a mountainous area that was designed according to this management strategy. With this aim, the WEBSO (Water and Energy Based Sectoring Operation) algorithm, which was developed in a previous work, has been modified in order to take into account the specific characteristics of the irrigation district and its actual management, as well as to analyze sensitivity to several irrigation water depths in terms of both energy demand and yields. An economic analysis of the potential benefits of this management strategy is also carried out. The results show that this measure has lead to a nearly 30\% reduction in energy consumption, while increasing farmers' profits by 13\% compared to traditional on-demand operations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Environ Manage
and referenced in Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering