Mathematical models applied to irrigation networks

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In July 19, 2018 Associate Professor Vicente S. Fuertes-Miquel, from Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Medio Ambiente (DIHMA) of Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) conducted a teaching sessions about “Mathematical models applied to irrigation networks” as a part of his secondment at ALSIA (Italy).  

The objective of this teaching session was to present mathematical models as powerful tools to design and optimization of irrigation networks. The Mediterranean area of Spain and southern Italy have a similar problem: dry weather and lack of water. In this context, it has a lot of interest the optimization of irrigation systems (to save water) and the optimization of pumping in irrigation systems (to save water and energy). Different metaheuristic techniques (Genetic Algorithms, Particle Swarm Optimization, Harmony Search, etc.) can be applied to design and optimization of irrigation networks. Recently, the energy recovering in irrigation systems is increasing the general interest. Water irrigation systems are required to provide adequate pressure levels in any sort of network. Quite frequently, this requirement is achieved by using pressure reducing valves (PRVs). Nevertheless, the possibility of using hydraulic machines to recover energy instead of PRVs could reduce the energy footprint of the whole system. New methodologies are proposed to help water managers quantify the potential energy recovering of an irrigation water network with adequate conditions of topographies distribution. Improving the energy efficiency of water systems by hydraulic energy recovery is becoming an inevitable trend for energy conservation, emissions reduction, and the increase of profit margins as well as for environmental requirements. Nowadays, the use of micro hydropower in irrigation systems is being analysed to improve the overall energy efficiency.

The presentation used during the teaching sessions is available for download here