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.

An irrigation system that is independent of the flow rate is a potential threat to multinational irrigation companies that have billions of dollars invested in pressurised irrigation technology. It is not surprising therefore that no irrigation company worldwide has so far shown any interest in measured irrigation. If you are interested in measured irrigation you are unlikely to receive any encouragement or support from the irrigation industry. 

  • 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), the DIY Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller Kit or the Universal Measured 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.

News Update, November 2020
Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment

Many gardeners would like to use their rainwater tank to irrigate their garden. However a problem arises when the rainwater tank runs out of water. If you are on holidays at the time the consequences for your garden could be disastrous.

The ideal solution is to install the Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment so that your rainwater tank never runs out of water. There are other part fill valves available but these require a plumber to install the valve inside your rainwater tank. The Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment is completely external to the tank and so it’s easy for anyone to install.

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Downloads

Bottomless Rainwater Tank Attachment User Manual 

DIY Wicking Bed Controller User Manual 

Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit User Manual 

Unpowered MI Training Manual for Smallholders 

DIY Unpowered MI Contr0oller Kit User Manual 

DIY Solar MI Training Manual for Smallholders ▶

Universal & Sunset MI Controller User Manual 

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DIY Basic MI Controller Kit User Manual 

DIY Sunset MI Controller Kit User Manual 

DIY Universal MI Controller Kit User Manual ▶​

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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

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.

DIY Wicking Bed Controller User Manual

The Wicking Bed Controller automatically maintains the water level in your wicking bed between a low level and the overflow level. You can leave your wicking bed unattended for months on end.

 

Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit User Manual
The Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit lets you water your garden with stormwater recovered from the roadside gutters. When rain is expected you should setup the kit at a stormwater outlet at the kerbside. When it starts raining a pump starts automatically and pumps water into a tank or wheelie bin. When it stops raining the pump stops automatically. Please visit the web page for the
Kerbside Stormwater Recycling Kit.

Unpowered MI Training Manual for Smallholders  

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

DIY Unpowered MI Controller Kit User Manual 

is the User Manual for assembling and using the low cost kit.

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.

Universal & Sunset MI Controller User Manual 

is the User Manual for these two smart irrigation controllers that can be used for any irrigation application.

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%.

measured irrigation slideshow

Sophie Thomson and family

Sophie Thomson and three of her five children at the installation of measured irrigation at Sophie's Patch, November 2015.