Hydrology and water management for agriculture

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To learn about the main hydrological processes, the quantities that characterize them, the instrumentation and technologies for their measurement. To learn methods of investigation and monitoring techniques to describe the dynamics of water fluxes in the soil-crop-atmosphere system, in order to be able to estimate irrigation requirements and to schedule irrigation events in a rational way. To learn methods of investigation and monitoring techniques to characterize high intensity precipitation events and to describe processes of flood generation, for the design of hydraulic defense structures and river restoration interventions. To learn about the infrastructural components of collective irrigation systems: diversion infrustructures, convey and distribution networks, drainage networks. To investigate the management aspects and the hydraulic and hydrological problems associated with each individual component, also in relation to the interactions between urban centers and rural areas. To learn about the main planning tools for irrigation and reclamation at the regionale scale. To acquire awareness of the link among water use, agricultural production and energy consumption with a view to sustainable use of natural resources.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will develop expertise related to the acquisition and analysis of meteorological and hydrological data; to the use of GIS software for the processing of spatial information at the farm and territorial scales; to the implementation of a dynamic water balance model for the simulation of the soil-crop-atmosphere system and its use for the scheduling of irrigation events; to the implementation of a dynamic model for the estimation of the flood hydrogram at the closing section of a hydrographic basin and its use for the design of hydraulic defense structures and river restoration interventions. Additionally, the student will acquire the ability to elaborate hydrometric series of river flows for the evaluation of the divertable flow discherges in respect of the ecological river flow, to estimate irrigation needs at the irrigation district and regional scales, to evaluate the efficiency of convey and distribution networks and irrigation methods, and to estimate groundwater recharge and irrigation tailwater at the territorial scale.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
- study of the hydrological cycle and the basis of hydrological processes such as precipitation, rainfall interception, evapotranspiration, infiltration and percolation;
- methods of physical and mechanical analysis of soils as well as the study of their hydrological properties;
- analysis of water flow in saturated and unsaturated soils;
- measurement of hydrological variables;
- estimation of the hydrological balance at a field scale;
- calculation of the water and irrigation needs of crops and planning of irrigation frequency and rate;
- study of some statistical and probability concepts related to the analysis of extreme hydrological events and hydrological measurements;
- study of intensity frequency duration curves;
- assessment of design precipitation;
- calculation of hydrological losses using Horton models and those based on the Curve Number definitions;
- estimation of the critical rainfall duration;
- analysis of runoff processes;
- estimation of peak flow through the rational method and the lag-time method;
- statistical analysis of observed flows.
- estimation of crop water requirements according to the FAO-56 method,
- estimation of design peak flow in a small ungagedl basin under different rainfall return time considering land use changes.
· Infrastructures for water management in rural areas
· Legal framework on irrigation and soil protection
· Multifunctionality of rural channel networks and interactions between water uses and environmental protection of water bodies
· Hydraulic-hydrological analysis methods for water resources planning and management in rural areas
· Elements of environmental management of rural channels
· Group work on a case study
Prerequisites for admission
Agricultural hydraulics, Agronomy
Teaching methods
Lectures and practicals using software Excel, Matlab, QGis,
· Lecture notes, available on line (https://ariel.unimi.it/)
· MIPAAF - Paolo Sequi/Marcello Pagliai. Metodi di analisi fisica dei suoli. FrancoAngeli
· Ferro V. (2006). Elementi di idraulica e idrologia per le scienze agrarie ed ambientali. Mc Graw Hill
· Moisello U. (1998). Idrologia tecnica. La Goliardica Pavese.
· Maione U. - Moisello U. (1993). Elementi di statistica per l'idrologia. La Goliardica Pavese.
· Gribbin J.E. (2013). Introduction to Hydraulics and Hydrology with Applications for Stormwater Management . Delmar Pub.
Materials can be found in the course website within the Ariel platform and they include:
- copy of the slides shown during lectures and practicals;
- supplementary material (scientific papers, technical manuals), list of references.
Assessement methods and criteria
U.D. HYDROLOGY - Examination consists of a written, multiple-choice test and a subsequent in-depth interview. The interview will mainly focus on the discussion of a technical report prepared by the student, concerning the topics addressed during the practicals.
U.D. MANAGEMENT - Examination consists of an oral presentation and discussion of a paper on one of the topics covered in the course. The subject of the paper is assigned during the course and must be developed as a group work (small groups of 5 students maximum). The paper must be written and delivered within ca. 5 working days before the exam session date (and in any case by the date indicated when registering for the exam through the dedicated University Service, which also contains the instructions for the delivery of the paper).
The assessment of the oral test is based on the clarity and completeness of the presentation, on the breadth and level of detail of the illustrated contents, and on the correctness of the answers to the questions of the examiners.
The overall evaluation is determined as the average of the evaluation of the oral test and of the evaluation of the written paper.
Enrollment in the oral exam must be done through the dedicated University Service.
If not attending the test once registered, please cancel the registration within the terms indicated (or in any case communicate it by email to the teacher). In case of unjustified absence, the teacher has the right to prevent registration for the next session.
For students with Specific Learning Disorders refer to the provisions of the Student Guide and the DSA Service of the University (https://www.unimi.it/it/servizi/servizi-disabili-e-dsa)
Gestione delle risorse idriche in agricoltura
Computer room practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Gandolfi Claudio
Computer room practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours