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 allows you to decide how much water will be delivered to each plant in your garden. Hence you know in advance the total volume of water that will be used during the irrigation event.
Measured irrigation can be completely automatic with the irrigation frequency 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.
Measured irrigation scheduling uses up to 50% less water than programmed irrigation scheduling.
You can upgrade any drip irrigation system (pressurised or gravity feed) to a fully automated measured irrigation system using the Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller (no electricity is needed)
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.
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.
Gravity Feed Irrigation Consultant
Bernie Omodei can make his expertise in gravity feed irrigation available to anyone in the vicinity of Adelaide.
The consultancy fee is $70 for the first hour and $40 per hour thereafter. Clients more than 30km from Woodviile Park will be charged an additional travel fee.
News Update, August 2019
DIY smart rrigation
My latest video provides step by step instructions so that smallholders can use smart irrigation scheduling. All that is needed is a steel pipe and a storage container.
Unpowered MI Training Manual for Smallholders has
detailed instructions for upgrading any drip irrigation system to unpowered measured irrigation. The irrigation system may be controlled manually or you may wish to use the Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller or the DIY Smart Irrigation Controller.
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 Manual is a comprehensive document covering all aspects of measured irrigation. The manual provides a theoretical foundation for measured irrigation and describes a broad range of implementations.
Evapotranspiration and Measured Irrigation: Report for Smart Approved Watermark demonstrates a strong correlation between measured irrigation discharge volumes and the prevailing evapotranspiration minus rainfall.
Measured Irrigation Nozzle Selector Tool uses evaporation and rainfall data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to enable you to select the appropriate drippers or drip line for your application.
Research Report: Improvement in crop yield per litre using Measured Irrigation reports on a pilot trial in Adelaide demonstrating improvements in crop yield per litre of more than 100%.
measured irrigation slideshow
In September 2019, UMIC Unpowered Measured Irrigation Controller was accepted by the Expert Panel for the
Smart Approved WaterMark.