The evolution of irrigation through smart, data-driven application

Farmers given new power to tackle water consumption and climate change through progressive satellite-based technology. The modernisation of agriculture has put productivity in the hands of the people.

The rural regions of Sannio Alifano, Naples Italy have recently upgraded to satellite-driven climate information in order to adequately prepare for future challenges in the agricultural sector. 

The scope of the project involved replacing a pre-existing pipe network with a pressurized network capable of reduce water consumption and improve productivity making it easier for farmers to manage the continuous change in climate. 

Using Data and Calculations

Supplying farmers with such critical information in a timely manner means improved water efficiency and higher end-yields. The new Italian irrigation networks were outfitted with remote controlled systems and automated delivery groups for managing the distribution of water to the farmers via electronic card. 

The irrigation system installed, IRRISAT offers advice on when to irrigate, from optimal time to adequate amount of water.

Agrometeorology and remote sensing are integrated to produce maps of crop water requirements. Within 36 hours of each satellite pass, IRRISAT gives farmers the following information: 

  • Monitoring crop development through infrared waves (both visible and near) 
  • Acquisition of meteorological data
  • Processing images to estimate water requirements for crops using F.A.O models and,
  • Integrating data into a geographic information system (GIS) 

The remote-control architecture builds of four levels; a field transmitter, a server for network management and data acquisition, a gate way, and the HYDROPASS software. Via e-mail, SMS and a dedicated webpage, access to critical information is made easy. 

Project Results

AC.MO S.r.l. has delivered approximately 2,000 electronic hydrants to the project. The implementation of smart, data-driven irrigation proved successful with a water saving of 25-30% with the added benefit of detecting unauthorised and wasteful water consumption. The project also mitigated production loss, energy and other community costs.

As well as this, efficiency in farming ensoul biodiversity in production and can help revert depopulation in the area, which is currently proving to be a challenge. 

This project serves an excellent example of the partnership between AVK AC.MO technicians, the water company and local farmers. 

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