Measured Irrigation

A major advance in drip irrigation

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. But for measured irrigation the volume of water delivered by a dripper during the irrigation event is independent of the flow rate.

  • 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 (no electricity is needed) or the Measured Irrigation Valve 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.

News Update, February 2021
Measured Irrigation Valve Controller

The Permaculture Forest Park in Qatar has been designed by the world famous landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic, the winner of a number of international design competitions for major cultural sites. This Forest Park has a planted area of 13.5 ha and is next to the centre of the city of Doha. The irrigation system for the site will be 100% gravity feed and all of the solenoid valves will be controlled by the Measured Irrigation Valve Controller.  Vladimir has chosen Measured Irrigation to demonstrate the importance of this exemplary irrigation technology.

The Measured Irrigation Valve Controller is now available online from the Measured Irrigation Shop.

Downloads

Unpowered MI Training Manual for Smallholders 

DIY Solar MI Training Manual for Smallholders ▶

DIY Unpowered MI Controller Kit User Manual 

Measured Irrigation Valve Controller User Manual 

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DIY Basic MI Controller Kit User Manual 

DIY Sunset MI Controller Kit User Manual 

Measured Irrigation from Scratch Manual ▶

Evapotranspiration and Measured Irrigation: Report for Smart Approved Watermark 

Research Report: Improvement in crop yield per litre using Measured Irrigation 

Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment User Manual 

Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit User Manual 

Unpowered MI Training Manual for Smallholders  

has detailed instructions for upgrading any drip irrigation system to unpowered measured irrigation. 

DIY Solar MI Training Manual for Smallholders 

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.

Measured Irrigation from Scratch Manual 

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.

Research Report: Improvement in crop yield per litre using Measured Irrigation reports on a pilot trial in Adelaide demonstrating improvements in crop yield of more than 100%.

Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment User Manual

The attachment is a part fill valve that is external to the rainwater tank and so easy to install. Your rainwater tank will never run dry and so you can use the tank to automatically irrigate your garden.

Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit User Manual
The Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit lets you water your garden with stormwater recovered from the roadside gutters. Please visit the web page for the Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit.

measured irrigation slideshow

International Symposium, Addis Ababa

Dr Omodei was invited to give a presentation at the International Symposium for Rainwater Harvesting and Resilience, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-4 June 2015.