Home    About    Current    Archives    Announcements     Guidelines     Contact Us     Search
Current Issue | Next Issue | Archive | Adv Search Previous Articles  |  Next Articles  
Hydro-Tech: an automated smart-tech decision support tool for eco-efficient irrigation management
 M. Todorovic1,*, E. E. Riezzo2, V. Buono1, M. Zippitelli2, A. Galiano3, V. Cantore4
1. CIHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy;
2. Sysman Progetti & Servizi srl, Via A. Montagna 2 - zona PIP, 72023 Mesagne (BR), Italy;
3. Dyrecta Lab, Via Vescovo Simplicio 45, 70014 Conversano (BA), Italy;
4. CNR – Institute of Science of Food Production, Via Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
 Download: PDF (0 KB)   HTML (1 KB)   Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      Supporting Info
Abstract Hydro-Tech is a new automatized decision support system which integrates the results of scientific achievements and technological innovations in the fields of crop water requirements and irrigation scheduling, on-field data acquisition, transmission and management, and application of web and app tools for real-time irrigation management. The system combines agronomic, engineering, environmental and economic aspects of water management, aims to improve the eco-efficiency of agricultural water use and may be applied at both farm and irrigation district scale using the advanced technological solutions for the continuous sensor-based monitoring of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and the remote control of irrigation supply networks. Hydro-Tech is based on the standard FAO-56 approach for the estimation of reference evapotranspiration using the Penman-Monteith equation and determination of crop water requirements and irrigation inputs under different water management strategies. The system has a modular and flexible structure which permits the creation of the user specific scenarios based on the real on-farm conditions and constraints. As such, the system allows the estimation of reference and crop evapotranspiration under limited data availability and employs the latest scientific achievements to recover the missing data and to develop the crop coefficient curves according to the specific crop species, biometric and phenological characteristics. The crop development is modeled by means of both calendar-day and heat-unit concepts. The real-time soil water balance is based on a simply cascading approach, runs on a daily basis and includes the high-resolution weather forecasting data which permits the pro-active irrigation management considering three to seven forthcoming days. A dynamic multi-crop/multi-plot/farm optimizer supports the user-defined setting of constraints and irrigation priorities at the farm scale by taking into account the water availability at its quality, the soil water moisture level and eventual crop water stress, and the economic parameters. Hydro-Tech provides standard interfaces connecting the on-field devices with the client software application through a Data Cloud Network (Hydrotech Data Cloud, HDC) which permits wireless, via new generation of smart devices (tablets, smartphones), and continuous monitoring of the on-field conditions and the remote control and management of irrigation. Hydro-Tech was developed within the framework of the EC-ERDF program and it is actually operated in the Apulia Region (Italy) at different farms for the irrigation management of peach and olive orchards, wine and table grapes, and vegetables. Several examples of application showing the enhancement of eco- efficiency of local agricultural systems are briefly described.
E-mail this article
Add to my bookshelf
Add to citation manager
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Key wordsirrigation management   decision support system   resources use efficiency   wireless communication   automated control     
Received: 2014-10-21; Published: 2016-01-04
Corresponding Authors: Mladen Todorovic, CIHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy. E-mail: mladen@iamb.it.   
Cite this article:   
. Hydro-Tech: an automated smart-tech decision support tool for eco-efficient irrigation management[J]. IAEJ, 2016, 25(2): 44-56.
URL:     or
[1] Allen, R. G., L. S. Pereira, D. Raes, and M. Smith. 1998. Crop evapotranspiration. Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO, Rome. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper, 56.
[2] Allen, R. G., and L. S. Pereira. 2009. Estimating crop coefficients from fraction ground cover and height. Irrigation Science, 28(1): 17-34.
[3] Girona, J., and E. Fereres. 2012. Peach. In: Crop yield response to water (Eds. Steduto P., Hsiao T.C., Fereres E., Raes D.). Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper, 66: 392-405.
[4] Hargreaves, G. H., and Z. A. Samani. 1982. Estimating potential evapotranspiration. Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 108(3): 225-230.
[5] Jones, H. G. 2004. Irrigation scheduling: advances and pitfalls of plant-based methods. Journal of Experimental Botany,, 55(407): 2427-2436.
[6] McCarthy, A. C., N. H. Hancock, and S. R. Raine. 2011. Advanced process control of irrigation: the current state and an analysis to aid future development. Irrigation Science, 31(3): 183-192.
[7] Rao, N. H., P. B. S. Sarma, and S. Chander. 1988. A simple dated water production function for use in irrigated agriculture. Agricultural Water Management, 13(1): 25-32.
[8] Romero, R., J. L. Muriel, I. Garcia, and Munoz del La Pena D. 2012. Research on automatic irrigation control: state of the art and recent results. Agricultural Water Management, 114: 9-66.
[9] Stewart, J. I., R. M. Hagan, W. O. Pruitt, R. E. Danielson, W. T. Franklin, R. J. Hanks, J. P. Riley, and E. B. Jackson. 1977. Optimizing crop production through control of water and salinity levels in the soil. Reports Paper 67. Utah Water Research Laboratory, USA, 191 pp.
[10] Todorovic, M. 2006. An excel-based tool for real time irrigation management at field scale. Proc. Int. Symp. on Water and Land Management for Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture, Adana, Turkey. 4-8 April, 2006. ?ukurova University, Adana, Turkey.
[11] Todorovic, M., B. Karic, and L. S. Pereira. 2013. Reference evapotranspiration estimate with limited weather data across a range of Mediterranean climates. Journal of Hydrology, 481: 166-176.
[12] Zapata, N., R. Salvador, J. Cavero, S. Lecina, C. Lopez, N. Mantero, R. Anadon, and E. Playan. 2012. Field test o fan automatic controller for solid-set sprinkler irrigation. Irrigation Science, 31(5): 1237-1249.
No Similar of article
Copyright © 2012 Editorial by International Agricultural Engineering Journal