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Water 2019, 11(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020252

Assessment of a Smartphone Application for Real-Time Irrigation Scheduling in Mediterranean Environments

1
Climate and Water Unit, Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, Fanar 90-1965, Lebanon
2
Department of Irrigation and Agrometeorology, Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, Tal Amara 278, Lebanon
3
CIHEAM—Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation Issues in Water, Agriculture and Food)
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Abstract

The suitability of cloud-based irrigation technologies remains questionable due to limited information on their evaluation in the field. This study focussed on the on-field assessment of a smartphone irrigation scheduling tool—Bluleaf®—with respect to traditional water application practices. Bluleaf® uses weather, crop, soil, and irrigation system data to support a farmer’s decision on the timing and amounts of irrigation. The smartphone application was tested in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, on durum wheat, a strategic Mediterranean crop, during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons. The simulation results on soil water balance were in “acceptable to very good” agreement with the measured soil moisture values, with a root mean square error (RMSE) between 15.1 and 26.6 mm and a modelling efficiency (NSE) that ranged from 0.77 to 0.92. The appropriateness of the adopted smartphone irrigation scheduling was confirmed also by leaf water potential measurements and the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI). A water saving of more than 1000 m3/ha (25.7%) was observed with Bluleaf® with respect to traditional irrigation scheduling. Therefore, new technologies could bring about substantial benefits to farmers and support water saving efforts in the Mediterranean region. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation scheduling; wheat; soil water balance; new technologies; smartphone application irrigation scheduling; wheat; soil water balance; new technologies; smartphone application
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Abi Saab, M.T.; Jomaa, I.; Skaf, S.; Fahed, S.; Todorovic, M. Assessment of a Smartphone Application for Real-Time Irrigation Scheduling in Mediterranean Environments. Water 2019, 11, 252.

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