An effort combining scientific agricultural research on crop-growth and hydrologic modelling with local research on irrigated agriculture in various Mediterranean countries using advanced computer tools.
The results of irrigation research must be applied not only at farm level but also cooperatively at a local/regional level. The resulting actions must be coordinated continuously if the water resource is to be managed efficiently and optimally. To do this, the area and its component features (soil types, climate, topography, water resources, farm types, crop distribution, etc.) must be represented in such a way as to permit the prediction of the results of the interactions of those features on each other. The best way to do this is to model the system and to define the interactions mathematically using existing research results. This project will do this and will subsequently develop a computer system which will permit agricultural advisers, technicians, and farmers to optimize the use of irrigation water.
Work is underway to construct a decision support system (DSS) for irrigation management at the farm level and at consecutive local and regional levels. The main components of the software system include a user interface, knowledge processor, simulation models and data processor. The user interface provides a user friendly means of communication of input parameters and decision support output at the end of the analysis. The knowledge processor translates the user's requirements into a simulation problem and contains a set of user specific rules for the translation of simulation models consists of a set of modules or procedures which are used for calculating water balances, crop growth and regional water requirements. The data processor stores, manages and processes all the required data. It contains a geographical entities and GIS routines for the processing of regional parameters, together with other necessary data.
Major blocks of the DSS have been identified, described and discussed. A first prototype has been developed for demonstration purposes, which contains a number of elements. One of these is a databasecontaining soil, weather and crop input data for the simulation models and regional information. Simulation models for the assessment of crop water requirements have been remodelled for the DSS. Geographical information has been loaded to a GIS and a user friendly interface has been developed.
The project addresses a research problem which is not as well developed in the Southern Community as it is in the North of the Community. The project will relay heavily on the sparse but very relevant know-how and experience in the Southern Countries as well as on the transfer of this technology from North to South by adapting and developing it for the different conditions.
The result of these efforts will be a Decision Support System for (supplementary) irrigation management at farmers and regional level, available immediately after project completion.
Main components of this software system include :
- simulation models for the determination of crop- water requirement taking into account climatic conditions and soil-water movement,
- a tool to convert crop-water requirements into irrigation demands,
- a rule based system that converts simulation results in user-defined information (i.e. advice on timing and amount of irrigation),
- an extended "GIS" for the management and processing of required input data and simulation results.
38206 La Laguna
AL5 2JQ Harpenden, Herts
6700 AC Wageningen