Sensor based method for water monitoring in smallholder irrigatted agriculture Tanzania
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Monitoring water use in traditional irrigation canals is critical for any water management best practice to function. In Tanzania, water basin authorities and users association have been created to distribute and levy water usage fee in view of avoiding conflicts. Although much has been done over the years, the authorities have so far failed to ensure the desired equity, fairness and transparency. This is largely attributed to high deployment cost which constrains the uptake of various technologies. In agriculture, one of the commonly used technologies is sensors. Effective utilization of sensors requires a design that matches the physical and connectivity environment of the area. In this dissertation, we present such a system of wireless sensor network designed for the purpose of improving water management in farmer-led irrigation. The system consist of a low-cost design of a sensor system that measures water depths at specific canal points and transmits the measurements to a central system. The central system transforms the measurements into discharge values using a locally established rating curve. For the end user, we have provided a web based application for administering the canals; visualize canal discharge values; and generating reports. The system can easily be scaled up to monitor larger networks of canals, and can therefore be a game changer when deployed.