Poor distribution uniformity and low irrigation efficiency have negative impacts on the benefits and profitability of irrigation. An evaluation utilises selected measurements of system performance (and management) to identify causes of any poor performance and how these deficiencies can be rectified.
To achieve a high level of irrigation performance requires a well-designed, well maintained and well managed irrigation system.
An irrigation evaluation will determine whether the design specifications are being met and you have got what you paid for. An evaluation will also check if your old system is still performing as you would expect.
An evaluation is not just a series of field tests, it will show what can be done to increase irrigation effectiveness and efficiency — irrigating more with the same water, saving you money and growing more for your water dollar.
An irrigation evaluation involves on-site measurement of flow, pressure and other physical aspects at critical points in an irrigation system while it is operating.
Each irrigation system type requires a different set of measurements and calculations. What is needed for a centre pivot does not apply for drip-line!
No matter the system, the key indicator is distribution uniformity — how evenly the system applies water to individual plants. It sets the base for efficiency. Only very high uniformity allows irrigation that is both efficient and effective.
Analysis enables the system performance levels to be determined and compared to key performance indicators and design specifications. The cause of any non-performance can be identified, how these can be remedied and what gains might be made from improvements.
Your evaluation will be a snap shot of the system performance on the day of testing. It is important for this to be typical of normal operation so the findings can be most useful.