PALTIN Demo in Romania

November 29, 2017

PALTIN International Inc. (West Laurel, Maryland, USA), in cooperation with the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management (INHGA - Bucharest, Romania), and the Station for Agricultural Research and Development (SCDA - Braila County, Romania) agreed to organize a one-year Demo in the embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila County, Romania.

In order to respond to the complexity of management decisions which appear on large embanked islands of Danube River (drainage/salinity/water table variation; irrigation of field crops; etc. problems), PALTIN International provided a dedicated Weather Station (see Fig. 01-04) for real-time water resources monitoring using Low Earth Orbit Satellite technologies:  McCROMETER CONNECT Mini-SAT Premium Field Monitoring Station (Hemet, California, USA); and the ACCLIMA Inc., newest TDR-315L SDI-12 Soil Water/EC/Temperature/Permittivity Sensors (Meridian, Idaho, USA).

The station was located and installed on the Experimental Fields of SCDA-Braila in the Northern part of the Embanked Island, and is transmitting real-time data, via Low Earth Orbit Satellites, since August 08, 2017.

Free access to the data can be obtained by searching www.automata-inc.net Login: McCrometer Connect; User name: Romania; Password: soilmoisture.

 

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Fig. 01 Mini-SAT Premium Field Monitoring Station and Sensors setup at SCDA Braila, Romania

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Fig. 02 McCROMETER CONNECT Field Monitoring Station and its components (SCDA Braila, Romania, Aug. 08, 2017)

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Fig. 03 Field installation of Mini-SAT Premium Station and Sensors in a corn field (August 08, 2017)

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Fig. 04 Mini-SAT Premium Station and Sensors after corn crop harvest (SCDA Braila, November 2017)

The experimental fields of SCDA-Braila (see Fig. 05) are located in the Northern part of the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Brăila County, one of the most representative modern irrigation - drainage districts of Romania.

Fig. 05 Experimental fields and locations of different monitoring equipments at SCDA Braila, Romania

 

Irrigation infrastructure in this area was developed since 1975-1980 for serving an area of about 69,000 hectares (~ 170,503 acres). This system consist of: a channel network for water conveyance; electric pumping stations; and a network of buried pipes of various orders for water distribution (see Fig 06). Irrigation water is delivered at specific outlets where farmers connect their overhead distribution equipments to apply sprinkler irrigation (center pivots, travelers, etc.,) in the field.

Specifically, the irrigation infrastructure includes 34 centralized electric pumping stations to serve 53,550 hectares (~132,325 acres), each pumping station serving irrigation land units between 1,100 - 1,900 hectares (~2,718 – 4695 acres).

During the recent years, important investments for updating the irrigation infrastructure had been accomplished in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila, Romania: more than 100 center pivots (see Fig. 07) were installed; and future investments are planned, especially at the level of pumping stations. Main field irrigated crops are: corn, wheat, barley, sunflower, soybean and alfalfa.

PALTIN International Demo is part of a larger research and development project (MOSES – Romania), combining different EM soil moisture measuring sensors: TDR multi parameter sensors (Acclima TDR-315L SDI-12), Capacitance sensors (former Decagon Devices, Pullman, Washington, USA) and soil water profile Impedance probes (Delta-T Devices Ltd, Cambridge, UK), in order to provide accurate and real-time water monitoring data for MOSES project forecast products verification during the crops vegetation seasons of 2017 and 2018.

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Fig. 06 Infrastructure (Levees/Drainage/Irrigation) in the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Braila, Romania

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Fig. 07. Evidence of center pivots in use, located in the middle section of the Embanked Great Island of Danube River, Brăila, Romania (Sentinel 2 (Bands 11, 8,4) satellite image, August 11, 2017),

The MOSES project, which is financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, aims to put in place and demonstrate at the real scale of application an information platform (https://moses.esriitalia.it/portal/home/) in order to facilitate planning of irrigation water resources.

MOSES Platform is a Decision Support System (DSS) that integrates GIS technologies with seasonal and in-season weather forecast technologies and remote sensing technologies for providing strategic information to water managers before the irrigation season (using seasonal forecasts) as well as during the irrigation season (using short-term weather forecasts). The main MOSES forecast products available on the platform are divided on two categories: seasonal forecasts (early season crop water demand forecast, seasonal probabilistic forecast of climate variables used as inputs in weather generator (WG) and seasonal irrigation forecast) and in-season forecasts, 7 days anticipation (short term crop water demand forecast, short/medium weather forecast, short term groundwater level forecast, short term irrigation forecast).

For testing the reliability of the MOSES forecast products for Romania, different sources of in-situ measured data are used ranging from real-time water monitoring data (precipitation, soil moisture, soil temperature, permittivity, groundwater level) provided by PALTIN International Demo to meteorological and hydrological data provided by the National Administration of Meteorology (ANM) as well as the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management (INHGA) Bucharest, Romania.

An important contribution for testing MOSES forecast products in Romania has been provided by the Station for Agricultural Research and Development (SCDA – Braila) team of scientists, technicians, etc.,   performing weekly/monthly gravimetric/volumetric soil moisture measurements, ground water variation in observation wells, as well as field crop observations.

PALTIN International acknowledges the contribution of both the INHGA – Bucharest and the SCDA Braila teams of scientists, engineers, technicians, field workers, etc., for the McCROMETER CONNECT Mini-SAT Premium Field Monitoring and Sensors installation, safety, and operation of Demo in Romania.