Analysis, assessment, and improvement of fertilizer distribution in pressure irrigation systems

Autores UPV


The transformation of traditional irrigation systems into pressure irrigation networks allows water users associations to use central fertigation systems. For efficient fertigation management, however, it is essential to obtain uniform distribution of the injected fertilizer through the system and to understand the hydraulic processes that take place in the central fertigation system. This will allow users to implement strategies that improve fertilizer distribution. In this work we develop a new methodology to improve fertilizer distribution uniformity and apply it to a case study. The results show how fertilizer distribution can be improved by means of proper scheduling of irrigation deliveries. The best results are obtained when fertigating sectors operate without non-fertigating sectors and there are not intermediate irrigations without fertilizer, achieving an improvement of the fertilizer distribution of 10.5%. In addition, this work highlights the difficulties of obtaining uniform distribution of fertilizer in a centralized irrigation system when there are users that do not want to make use of it.