Sensor based irrigation with bank filtration saves water and boosts farmer profits

Sensor Based: The installation of a sensor-based irrigation system using bank filtration technology and operated by Web/Mobile app at Sal River near Navelim and Nauta lake in Cortalim, Goa, has reduced water waste in the area while also allowing farmers to monitor irrigation remotely.

The sensors supply the moisture values by only turning on the water motor when there is a genuine requirement for water and turning it off when the moisture level reaches its maximum value. This method reduces water erosion and ensures that the soil quality is maintained throughout the field. The approach has saved time, particularly for daily wage farmers, by allowing them to sell their harvest on the market. It has lowered their labor workload while also benefiting the farmers financially.

Sensor-based irrigation system developed by TERI


The irrigation system was developed by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in partnership with the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Goa, and funded by the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) as part of the Demand Driven Mission – Water Technology Initiative.

It uses River Bank Filtration (RBF) technology in conjunction with a sensor-controlled irrigation system to give clean water to farmers for irrigation, making it the first of its kind in the region. RBF extracts water from wells near rivers and lakes to power its operations. Contaminants including bacteria and harmful metals are eliminated by overlapping biological, physical, and chemical processes when river water infiltrates into and flows through riverbed sediments.

We built low-cost RBF wells to treat dirty water from the Sal River near Navelim and the Nauta Lake in Cortalim, Goa, using renewable energy resources (solar-powered pumps) to supply clean water to farmers in off-the-grid locations. Farmers were able to achieve greater crop output by using water with enhanced quality criteria such as reduced turbidity and bacterial load, which was delivered through a systematic pipeline system.

The project is a sustainable strategy for educating farming people with tiny landholdings that are unique to Goa. The RBF technology provides a low-cost way to remove huge volumes of impurities, such as suspended particles and microbe attenuation, and ultimately deliver enhanced water quality to the farmer’s community in order to meet their irrigation needs. 

A dissemination workshop was also held, during which the information and technologies were passed over to local ownership by relevant stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, and farmers, and the project has sparked new collaborations for future advances. 

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