Where the Northwest
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Irrigation Efficiency

Created 5/12/2011 by Rob Penney
Updated 6/28/2011 by Lori Rhodig
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The most common method of irrigation in the Pacific Northwest is sprinkler irrigation (73% of irrigated acres), and by far the most popular sprinkler irrigation method is the center pivot (62% of sprinkler acres).  Improvements to the irrigation application efficiency of the center pivots has a large effect on water and energy use, which of course are related.  Using low pressure irrigation with discharges right down by the ground and more closely spaced reduces water use and pressure, so pumping energy drops considerably.  I was wondering if some utilities have customers who have experimented with this approach and have documented results of the savings, or of expected or unexpected results, welcome or otherwise.   

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Comments (2)
Eric Miller on 05/16/11 on 09:52 AM (Pacific Time)

BPA's Tom Osborn says "this is called LEPA (low energy precision application) and we are looking to do a demo at a few pivots next season"

Lori Rhodig on 08/30/11 on 03:48 PM (Pacific Time)
Rob, the NEEA characterization study identified (see earlier post by me), LEPA as an emerging technology to investigate for the Northwest. It is very common to areas with water deficits and flat land -- ie Texas, Colorado,...   NEEA is working with Tom Osborn and Dick Stroh from BPA on their demonstration of LEPA.   Field crop type and topography are the main risks given the potential for run-off/erosion and plant damage.  NEEA is helping to size the opportunity for the NW. Then you may see more incentives per the utilities.

This resource is Public

Sector: Agricultural
Function: Emerging Technology