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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

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IRRINET-IRRIFRAME

Irrigated agriculture is the most relevant water use sector, therefore highlighting the key role that efficient irrigation plays for saving water at the global level. Smart irrigation, supported by on-line assessment of soil and crop conditions, as well as weather forecasting, is unanimously recognized as a potential solution to mitigate global water scarcity. However, it is still an open question how to design the optimal structure of a smart irrigation system.

Developed by Consorzio di Bonifica CER

IRRINET-IRRIFRAME is an expert system for irrigation backed by the results of more than 50 years of research on sustainable irrigation. It processes several data bases and develops irrigation schedules that are available through different communication channels. Its main feature is the real-time irrigation scheduling, i.e. daily information on how much and when to irrigate. During the period 2007- 2013, the IRRINET-IRRIFRAME system allowed to save more than 50 millions of m3 of water in the Emilia Romagna region (Italy).

TRL9. System ready for full scale deployment
Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing). The solution is used successfully in a structurally operational environment. The user can and wants to recommend the solution to others. IRRINET-IRRIFRAME has been widely tested in the Emilia-Romagna region, and has been also implemented in other six regions of Italy.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

IRRINET-IRRIFRAME is based on a water balance model aimed at crop irrigation management at the field scale. The soil is represented in the model through three layers: the soil surface layer, which takes into account the composition and structure of the upper soil column, the root layer, which is the part of the soil where roots absorb water, and the bottom layer, that is the lower part of the soil column, where the dynamics of the water table is accounted for. The model takes into account soil structure, crop development, weather conditions and forecasting, estimates the corresponding water demand and therefore the optimal amount and timing of irrigation. Information is delivered to farmers through phone applications and web interface.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

IRRINET-IRRIFRAME provides guidelines to determine amount and timing of irrigation. It does not provide advice regarding the optimal irrigation technique in order to maximize water savings.

Added value
IRRINET – IRRIFRAME has a robust and user-friendly structure and relies on efficient tools for communication. These distinguishing features are the key for the success of the tool, that is being used by more than 40 000 farms which cover almost 40 % of the irrigated area in the Emilia-Romagna region. Recently, the service was extended to several other regions of Italy.

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