Design and management of irrigation systems

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course has the main objective to train students to develop knowledge of collective and on-farm irrigation systems, with particular attention to high-efficiency irrigation systems (sprinkler and micro-irrigation). In particular, the course will address the following topics: components of on-farm irrigation systems and their management and maintenance, criteria for choosing the proper irrigation method and system taking into account the farm-specific conditions, general and hydraulic design of on-farm irrigation systems and evaluation of their irrigation efficiency.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will be able to find and process data needed for the design of on-farm irrigation systems, to perform the general and hydraulic design of the systems, also using calculation and GIS/CAD tools. The student will acquire skills for assessing technical and economic implications of the project implementation, will be able to consult technical and scientific material concerning the irrigation sector and to discuss it by using appropriate sector terminology.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The teaching method may vary depending on the state of the COVID-19 health emergency in the 2nd semester. The frontal lectures alone (3 CFU) or also the practical lessons (3+1 CFU) could be conducted through distance teaching methods (through MS Teams). The course lecturer will be responsible for informing the students on the ways in which the lessons will be carried out well in advance of the beginning of the 2nd semester.
Course syllabus
3 CFU (Frontal lessons) - Irrigation systems (irrigation intake structures; supply and distribution networks; irrigation methods; drainage networks; irrigation service). Gravitational irrigation methods. Pressurized irrigation methods and systems: sprinkler irrigation with static irrigators and irrigation machines. Pressurized irrigation methods and systems: micro-irrigation (drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers). Advantages and limitations of gravitational, sprinkler and micro-irrigation methods. Theoretical efficiency of irrigation methods and systems. Hydraulic and technological characteristics of irrigators (sprinklers) and micro-irrigators (drippers and micro-sprinklers). Uniformity of distribution. Main components of pressurized systems: pumping group, water quality and filters, pressure reducers, special components, automation components, fertigation systems. Fundamental concepts for the irrigation scheduling: evapotranspiration, hydrological balance in agricultural soils and crop irrigation requirements. Irrigation scheduling: how to determine the amount and frequency of irrigation events with the different irrigation methods. Preliminary design of pressurized irrigation systems. Hydraulic design of pressurized irrigation systems. Examples of calculation.

1 CFU (Practicals in computer lab) - Preliminary and hydraulic design of a drip irrigation system for a maize farm, with the support of a spreadsheet with the implementation of all the main calculation steps, and using GIS and CAD software.
Prerequisites for admission
In order to successfully follow the course, students should meet the following requirements: (a) good theoretical basis of hydraulics; (b) good familiarity with personal computers (Windows environment, word processing and calculation programs).
Teaching methods
The course is articulted in 3 CFU of frontal lectures (24 hours) and 1 CFU of practicals in a computer lab (16 hours). During the computer classroom training hours, the following software will be mainly used: Excel (spreadsheets with the implementation of calculation procedures), QGIS, CAD. The attendance at lectures and practicals is strongly recommended. Missed lessons can be substituted by self-study using the reference material indicated by the course lecturer.
Teaching Resources
The material for the course is available on the ARIEL site, and consists of the slides shown during the lectures and of supplementary material, such as reference to book chapters, text of laws, scientific and technical papers and documents, websites. The reference textbook for the course is: PROGETTAZIONE E GESTIONE DEGLI IMPIANTI DI IRRIGAZIONE - Criteri di impiego e valorizzazione delle acque per uso irriguo. Antonina Capra e Baldassarre Scicolone. Edagricole Editore, 2016. The students will be informed on how to use the different supporting materials.
For students who must address previous knowledge gaps, textbook: FONDAMENTI DI IDRAULICA. Mario Gallati e Stefano Sibilla. Carocci Editore, 2009.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Course is concluded by an exam. The exam consists of a written test and an oral test. It is more precisely articulated as follows: (a) written test with 2 exercises to choose from 3 assigned (2 hours); (b) written report of the practical exercise carried out in the computer lab (project of the drip irrigation system), to be submitted by the exam registration date; (c) if the student has passed the written exam, oral test aimed at discussing the two previous points and at exposing the theoretical parts of the course not covered by the written test or the report. The three issues will constitute respectively 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 of the final grade. Consultation of supporting materials (slides, notes, textbooks, etc.) will not be allowed during the written test. The result of the written test will be communicated to the students by uploading on the ARIEL website of the course a document containing the candidates' matric numbers and the exam results. During the oral exam the student will be allowed to consult both the written report and the selected scientific article.

The following aspects will be assessed during the exam: acquired knowledge, level of understanding, reasoning and connection skills, communication skills using appropriate sector terminology, ability to organize a detailed and effective technical document.
Computer room practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Facchi Arianna