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A DSS for Design and Performance Analysis of Microirrigation Systems

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21954)
Authors:   Celestina G. Pedras, Luís S. Pereira
Keywords:   drip systems, microspray systems, performance indicators, economic and environmental criteria, microirrigation design

One of the great environmental concerns in irrigated agriculture refers to the risk of contamination of the water resources through fertilizers and chemicals transported by percolation water when this is applied in excess. However, such negative impacts can be minimized when good quality irrigation water is used and, moreover, if the irrigation systems are well designed and appropriate water management practices are adopted. Good irrigation design is also relevant to achieve high irrigation performances, high water productivity, reduced operations costs, and good return of the investment. The use of simulation models allows accessing the impact of the different irrigation and fertilization techniques on the crop production, the farmers revenue and the quality of the system water-soil. Models help to select irrigation management practices, including the quantity and time of application of water to the crop. High values for the distribution uniformity and application efficiency, which are associated with good performances of the irrigation system and to a better control of water and fertilizer losses, depend not only on management but also on design. To deal with problems referred above, the micro-irrigation DSS model MIRRIG has been developed, which allows to generate alternative design solutions and, using multicriteria analysis, to rank them, thus supporting farmers decisions on systems to be installed and respective management. This paper presents the model shows its application to minimize environmental impacts but respecting the economic and hydraulic performances.

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