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Environments 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/environments4010006

Applications of Information and Communication Technology for Improvements of Water and Soil Monitoring and Assessments in Agricultural Areas—A Case Study in the Taoyuan Irrigation District

1
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, 10617 Taiwan
2
Department of Irrigation and Engineering, Council of Agriculture Executive Yuan, 10014 Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Millington
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract

In order to guarantee high-quality agricultural products and food safety, efforts must be made to manage and maintain healthy agricultural environments under the myriad of risks that they face. Three central system components of sustainable agricultural management schemes are real-time monitoring, decision-making, and remote access. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems are a convenient means of providing both these and other functions, such as wireless sensor networking, mobile phone applications, etc., to agricultural management schemes. ICT systems have significantly improved in recent years and have been widely used in many fields, including environmental monitoring and management. Moreover, ICT could benefit agricultural environment management by providing a platform for collaboration between researchers and stakeholders, thereby improving agricultural practices and environments. This article reviews and discusses the way in which ICT can efficiently improve monitoring systems and risk assessments of agricultural environment monitoring, as well as the technological and methodological improvements of ICT systems. Finally, we develop and apply an ICT system, referred to as the agricultural environment protection system—comprised of a cloud, six E-platforms, three mobile devices, automatic monitoring devices, indigenous wireless sensor nodes, and gateways in agricultural networks—to a case study in the Taoyuan irrigation district, which acts as a pilot area in Taiwan. Through the system, we use all available information from the interdisciplinary structured cloud database to classify the focal area into different agricultural environmental risk zones. We also conducted further analysis based on a hierarchical approach in order to classify the agricultural environments in the study area, to allocate additional sampling with resin packages and mobile devices, as well as to assist decision makers and stakeholders. The main contributions that the system provides include a technical innovation platform (suitable for integrating innovations), economic benefits, and societal benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: Information and Technology Communication; agricultural environments; wireless sensors; irrigation; soil; water; food safety Information and Technology Communication; agricultural environments; wireless sensors; irrigation; soil; water; food safety
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, Y.-P.; Chang, T.-K.; Fan, C.; Anthony, J.; Petway, J.R.; Lien, W.-Y.; Liang, C.-P.; Ho, Y.-F. Applications of Information and Communication Technology for Improvements of Water and Soil Monitoring and Assessments in Agricultural Areas—A Case Study in the Taoyuan Irrigation District. Environments 2017, 4, 6.

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