Project: a New Irrigation system for Low and Efficient water use in agriculture

The innovative idea behind the project is to combine the advantages of subsurface irrigation and the high water storage capacity of a humidity retention agent (HURA) that keeps the water in the root zone and also minimizes soil salinity. This idea was transferred from academics to business through a spin-off of the University of Vienna, the HYDRIP GmbH, and is further developed with other research institutions and P SMEs. The HYDRIP system showed a water saving capacity about 50% (compared to a conventional irrigation) in a first test and has the potential to push towards a new leadership among environmentally sound and highly efficient irrigation technologies. However, this test showed the need of technological innovations to overcome three major barriers for the technology: _x000D_1) Due to roots intrusion, conventional subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) tubes have a limited life span which strongly reduces the economic viability. A completely new concept of perforated subsurface tubes (“squirt tubes”) has the potential to overcome this problem. Thus, further technical development of the material formula and emitter design has to be done._x000D_2) Originally, HYDRIP was invented for the application of small scale agriculture without sophisticated mechanical installation devices. To comply with the strong interest in large scale irrigation projects, a new method for a cost efficient installation must be developed and tested in different agricultural contexts. _x000D_3) A major cost driver for the HYDRIP system is the application of HURAs. Additionally, besides its relative high costs, HURAs tend to reduce their water holding capacity over the time. The addition of a microbe stimulating additive (MSA) has the potential not only to decrease the HURA costs (through the application of cheaper MSA, a significant part of the more expensive HURAs can be reduced) but also to extend the water saving effect due to the stimulation of soil life and humus built up. _x000D_To investigate and overcome these barriers, the project is founded on the profound experience of the Ps in working on HURAs and MSAs, agricultural machines, rubber tubes and agricultural practices and their work on the objective to develop an extremely efficient irrigation technology. The result will be high water saving potential, yield increase and further benefits of subsurface irrigation (e.g. review by Lamm, 2002). Preliminary cost estimations also show that the technology can be sold on the market at competitive prices, if accordingly developed for application in specific agricultural crops and the needs in the specific regions._x000D_Thus, we aim at investigating the technological and the market aspects of the irrigation system, taking viticulture and asparagus production in dry regions of Germany and Portugal as examples, by:_x000D_a) The technological development of root proof subsurface squirt tubes with homogeneous water distribution:_x000D_ • develop squirt tubes with homogeneous water distribution to guarantee irrigation for lines longer than 50m (emitters variability aiming at SD<7%, according to ISO norm 9261 for drip irrigation) _x000D_• Assure market acceptance of the costs of irrigation tubes (max. 0,16 €/m, like SDI tubings) by optimized manufacturing procedure_x000D_b) Research of the use of Humidity Retaining Agents (HURA) in combination with additional Microbe Stimulating Additives (MSA):_x000D_• Examine the most effective quantity and combination of different soil conditioners (HURAs and MSAs) as trade-off equilibrium concerning total costs and water savings/longevity), adapted to viticulture and asparagus production for dry regions._x000D_• Development of a standard procedure for a cost effective soil conditioner mixing_x000D_c) The development of a method for combined installation of tubes and HURA/MSA:_x000D_• Develop two tube and HURA/MSA installation apparatus for viticulture and asparagus production, respectively_x000D_•Assure economic viability and cost reduction of the installation method_x000D_d) Realise Field Testings_x000D_• Develop the HYDRIP technology for the specific needs of grapevine and asparagus considering specific soil and climate conditions_x000D_• Agro-economic analysis of benefits by savings of water, water provision, fertilizer reduction and labour costs opposed to the necessary investment_x000D_e) Investigation of consumer acceptance and identification of a market exploitation strategy_x000D_• Define market (entry) barriers_x000D_• Define consumer needs_x000D_• Ensure financial viability after project completion_x000D_f) Dissemination strategy: PR and Knowledge transfer_x000D_• Publication of results in relevant journals and presentation at conferences and fairs_x000D_• Production of visual materials (video, DVD, Folder) about the technology _x000D_• 3 Knowledge transfer seminars in different regions for potential distributors and users_x000D_• Project homepage_x000D__x000D_Lamm, F.R.,2002, Advances in Drip/Micro Irrigation, Puerto de La Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, December 2-5, 2002. Sponsored by Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias._x000D_

Acronym NILE (Reference Number: 4814)
Duration 01/10/2009 - 31/07/2013
Project Topic NILE seeks to develop a new subsurface irrigation system for agriculture in dry regions with water saving capacity of more than 50%. It consists of an innovative root resistant tube principle, soil conditioners that increase the water holding capacity and an easy to use and cheap installation method
Project Results
(after finalisation)
_x000D_The following table gives an overview on the projects results _x000D__x000D_WP and WP Leader / Purpose /Task /Description /Results_x000D__x000D_WP 1 Management, HYD _x000D_Purpose: to organize and carry out all management activities (administrative, financial and contractual issues, internal knowledge management)_x000D_T 1.1: Management _x000D_T 1.2: IPR_x000D_T1.3: Reports Report to Eurostars & national funding Agencies _x000D_Results: Final reports to the national funding agencies and Eurostars_x000D__x000D__x000D_WP 2 Subsurface Squirt Tubes, DIK _x000D_Purpose: Develop a new type of root resistant subsurface squirt tubes._x000D_T 2.1: concept_x000D_T 2.2: assembling_x000D_T 2.3: tests: tubes DIK, roots: INRES _x000D_D 2.1: Prototype is ready_x000D_D 2.2: Final test reports_x000D_Results:_x000D_Deliverable D 2.1 and D2.2_DIK_End_V16_x000D_D2.2 T2.3 root restistance test report_x000D__x000D__x000D_WP 3 HURA and MSA, INRES _x000D_Purpose: To establish optimal performance of the HURA/MSA in order to examine the most effective quantity and combination, adapted to viticulture and asparagus for dry regions_x000D_T 3.1: Tech Review (HYD)_x000D_T 3.2: Agro Econ. Review (INRES via Sub from AgrTech)_x000D_T 3.3: Lab Tests (INRES) _x000D_D 3.1: Technical report on Hura and MSA: _x000D_D 3.2: Economic report_x000D_D 3.3: Lab Test on performance of HURA/MSA _x000D_D 3.2: Economic report _x000D_D 3.3: Lab Test final report _x000D_Results: _x000D_D 3.1& D 3.2: Final technical and economic report _x000D_D 3.3: Lab Test final report _x000D__x000D__x000D_WP4 Machine Installation, AgrTech_x000D_Purpose: To develop and optimize application specific tube, HURA and MSA installation device_x000D_IL T 4.1: Demand (HYD)_x000D_T 4.2: Concept (IL)_x000D_T 4.3 Prototyping (AgrTech) _x000D_D 4.1: Demands (HYD)_x000D_D4.2: Feedback from field tests (HYD)_x000D_D 4.3: report on “Prototypes of two application specific devices” _x000D_Deliverables T4.1-und T4.2 Anforderungsprofil und Proof of concept_x000D_D 4.3: Final report of IL and AgrTech_x000D__x000D__x000D_WP 5 field tests, HYD_x000D_Purpose: to assess and optimize biomass production, yield and water saving affectivity of the HYDRIP technology under field conditions, focusing on the effects of heterogeneities in soil texture, allocation of soil conditioners and salinity of irrigation water. _x000D_T 5.1: wine (APAS)_x000D_Asparagus (AgrTec)_x000D_T 5.2: effects (INRES)_x000D_T 5.3: Agro Econ. Viability (IL) _x000D_D 5.1:Final Report on field tests _x000D_Results:_x000D_D 5.1 A: Final report wine _x000D_D 5.1 B: Final report Asparagus _x000D_D 5.2: Report on agro-economic viabilty of the technology (IL)_x000D__x000D_ _x000D_WP6 Market Exploitation and User Acceptance, CEIFA _x000D_Purpose: To analyse the economic viability of the HYDRIP technology and its single components and estimate the needs of market introduction after project completion._x000D__x000D_T 6.1 Stakeholders –analysis (Hydrip) _x000D_Deliverables T6.1 und T6.2 D6.2_x000D__x000D_T 6.2: Defining Implementation barriers (CEIFA) _x000D_D 6.1 Report on implementation barriers for the specific focus and the general focus_x000D__x000D_T 6.3: Feedback to WP2-WP5 _x000D_Instruction video and COtenance manual_x000D__x000D_T 6.4:_x000D_Economic and technical evaluation of the technology (CEIFA) _x000D_D 6.2. Report on economic scenarios of technology _x000D_D 6.3. Report on implementation strategy _x000D_Milestone: Market exploitation strategy _x000D_Deliverable T6.4 - D 6.2 _x000D_Deliverable T6.4- D 6.3 _x000D__x000D_T 6.5. Implementing technology with key stakeholders (Hydrip) _x000D_Report T 6-5 Implementations_x000D__x000D__x000D_WP 7 Dissemination, HYD _x000D_Purpose: disseminate results obtained in order to support the research flow_x000D__x000D_T 7.1 Communication of results to the agricultural community and to the general public (Hyd)_x000D_Deliverable D 7-1-3-4 Dissemination: Client handbook on the technology and videofilm _x000D__x000D_T 7.2 Publishing reports in relevant journals (all Ps) _x000D_Final compilation of dissemination activities _x000D__x000D_T 7.3. Organising workshops and seminars within the consortium _x000D_D 7.2. Report on the Consortium meetings _x000D__x000D_T 7.4. Knowledge transfer seminars in three different regions for potential users _x000D_Deliverable D 7-1-3-4 Dissemination_x000D__x000D_T 7.5 Organisation and administration of project website _x000D_Deliverable D 7-1-3-4 Dissemination: Project Website inclusive member area_x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
10 Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie e. V. Hannover Partner Germany
10 Institut fuer Landtechnik Partner Germany
10 HYDRIP GmbH Coordinator Austria
10 Centro de Estudos, Informação e Formação para o Ambiente Partner Portugal
10 Urban Bewässerungs- und Systemtechnik GmbH Observer Germany
10 Centro Operativo e de Tecnologia de Regadio Partner Portugal
10 Associação dos Produtores Agrícolas da Sobrena Partner Portugal
10 Agrartechnik GmbH Dröppelmann Partner Germany
10 Hoogen Bodensanierung GmbH Observer Germany
10 University of Bonn, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), Department of Plant Nutrition Partner Germany