A major advance in drip irrigation
Measured Irrigation Valve Controller
Bernie Omodei demonstrates measured irrigation at Sophie's Patch Open Day 2016
News Update, May 2021
This remarkable new invention is now using an unglazed terracotta pot as the centrepiece of a state-of-the-art unpowered irrigation valve. An adjustable control dripper is connected to the irrigation system so that it drips water into the pot during the irrigation. The irrigation starts automatically after sufficient water has evaporated from the outside surface of the porous terracotta pot. The irrigation stops automatically when the control dripper has replaced the evaporated water. The control dripper can be adjusted so that the water usage is appropriate for the water requirements of your plants.
The Small Terracotta Valve is suitable for sprinkler or drip irrigation. The valve does not require an irrigation controller. Each valve is self-controlled whereby variations in the irrigation frequency are automatically controlled by the on-site prevailing weather conditions. Watch the video to see how simple it is.
The Small Terracotta Valve is available online from the Measured Irrigation Shop.
News Update, February 2021
The largest permaculture demonstration site in the world will be developed this year. The Permaculture Forest Park has a planted area of 13.5 ha and the irrigation system for the site will use more than 70 solenoid valves, each controlled by a Large Terracotta Irrigation Controller. Unglazed terracotta pots have been used for water-saving irrigation since the first century BC. This remarkable new invention is now using an unglazed terracotta pot as the centrepiece of a state-of-the art irrigation controller.
Watch the videos and share with your friends and colleagues
The Large Terracotta Irrigation Controller is available online from the Measured Irrigation Shop.
What is measured irrigation?
Measured irrigation is an irrigation scheduling technique.
For conventional drip irrigation systems, the volume of water delivered by a dripper during the irrigation event depends upon the flow rate and the duration of the irrigation event. But for measured irrigation the volume of water delivered by a dripper during the irrigation event is independent of the flow rate and time.
Measured irrigation can be completely automatic with the irrigation frequency and water usage directly proportional to the net evaporation rate (evaporation minus rainfall).
Measured irrigation is usually gravity feed and can be automated without access to mains water or mains power, and so there are no ongoing costs for mains water or electricity.
Measured irrigation is well suited to smallholders in poorer countries. At almost no cost, a smallholder can upgrade gravity feed drip irrigation to measured irrigation using a bucket and a steel pipe.
You can upgrade any irrigation system (drip or sprinkler, pressurised or gravity feed, pressure compensating drippers or non pressure compensating drippers)) to a fully automated measured irrigation system using the Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller, the Terracotta Valve (unpowered), or the Terracotta Irrigation Controller.
You can upgrade a gravity feed drip irrigation system with a farm pond to a fully automated measured irrigation using the DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit. Water is pumped automatically from the farm pond to a header tank.
Measured irrigation is simple and low tech and hence there are fewer things to go wrong – ideal for smallholders with limited access to technical and maintenance support.
Definition of measured irrigation
Measured irrigation is an irrigation scheduling method that satisfies the following two conditions:
Variations in the water usage throughout the year are controlled by the prevailing net evaporation rate (evaporation minus rainfall).
The volume of water discharged by each emitter during an irrigation event is controlled directly without the need to control the flow rate or the duration of the irrigation event.
In September 2019, the Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller was accepted by the Expert Panel for the
Smart Approved WaterMark.
has detailed instructions for upgrading any drip irrigation system to unpowered measured irrigation.
has detailed instructions for upgrading gravity feed drip irrigation to solar-powered measured irrigation. Water is pumped automatically from a farm pond to a header tank and all your plants are watered automatically from the header tank.
provides detailed instructions for installing an irrigation system from scratch using measured irrigation. The theoretical foundation for measured irrigation is included.
Evapotranspiration and Measured Irrigation: Report for Smart Approved Watermark demonstrates a 90% correlation between measured irrigation discharge volumes and the prevailing evapotranspiration minus rainfall.
Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit User Manual
The Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit lets you water your garden with stormwater recovered from roadside gutters. Please visit the web page for the Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit.