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Book: Practical Applications of Agricultural System Models to Optimize the Use of Limited Water
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Crop Science Society of America, Inc., and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.



  1.  p. 53-84
    Advances in Agricultural Systems Modeling 5.
    Practical Applications of Agricultural System Models to Optimize the Use of Limited Water

    Lajpat R. Ahuja, Liwang Ma and Robert J. Lascano (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-344-0

    Published: December 5, 2014

    * Corresponding author(s): allan.andales@colostate.edu
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A Mobile Irrigation Water Management System Using a Collaborative GIS and Weather Station Networks

  1. A.A. Andales ,
  2. T.A. Bauder and
  3. M. Arabi
  1. Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, 1170 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1170 (troy.bauder@colostate.edu).
    Dep. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, 1372 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372 (mazdak.arabi@colosate.edu).


Improved irrigation water management (IWM) in 22.2 million hectares of irrigated U.S. farmland can play a role to conserve water, prevent pollution, and enhance crop production. Our objectives were to develop and evaluate a scalable device-independent mobile IWM system for Colorado and promote adoption by irrigators. A prototype IWM system with input from crop producers, researchers, and conservation and commodity representatives was developed for Colorado, accessible through the Internet. The tool is hosted on the collaborative environmental Risk Assessment and Management System (eRAMS) GIS with online modeling services on the Cloud Services Innovation Platform. The tool gives irrigators near-real-time estimates of daily soil water deficit (Dc) of fields as an aid to schedule irrigations. It accesses weather data from several Colorado networks, providing daily rainfall and reference evapotranspiration (ETr) at 84 locations. Apps for handheld devices display IWM information and synchronize with the eRAMS tool. The IWM system was used for three growing seasons (2010–2012) to calculate daily root zone Dc for a sprinkler-irrigated corn field in Colorado. Daily calculated Dc had relative errors ranging from 2 to 31% compared with measured daily Dc. The average RMSE was 16 mm of water, an acceptable amount as it could be compensated by a single irrigation event. Accuracy of calculated Dc can be improved if midseason corrections based on measured profile soil water content are made. The IWM system was demonstrated at workshops across Colorado and adoption will lead to increased irrigation application efficiencies and improved water quality.

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Copyright © 2014. Copyright © 2014 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.