Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences

Title :

Water and Energy Efficient Reliable Irrigation System (WatEr-ERIS): Solar energy and Cloud-based decision support systems for automated irrigation system

Area of research :

Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences, Agricultural Sciences

Focus area :

Automation of Irrigation system

Principal Investigator :

Dr Kasiviswanathan KS, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi

Timeline Start Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

The rapidly increasing population across the globe demands more amount of food production. However, water and energy shortages are a major constrain due to the declining trend in the average rainfall due to climate change and increased power demand from industries respectively (Mukherji et al. 2012). Any poor agricultural practices would intensify negative effects, leading to more vulnerable situations. Generally, the accessibility to surface water resources is limited, thus the groundwater contribution is a major source for irrigation. Nearly two-third of India’s agriculture depends on groundwater sources, which is depleting at an alarming rate due to improper irrigation management and unreliable power supply, which has resulted in about 30% of the aquifers are at critical state, threatening the sustainability of groundwater utilization (CGWB, 2014). In this project, it was proposed to develop both water and energy saving reliable irrigation systems using the state of the art computing, communication and optimal energy management technologies. The urgency of this investigation stems from the shortage of water and energy, a phenomenon that is intensifying recently both in India and across the world. The efficiency of irrigation has direct implications on the nexus between water usage and power consumption. The organisation for economic co-operation and development’s environmental outlook 2050 (OECD, 2012) indicates that Indian agriculture would face severe water constraints/shortages in the next thirty years. Supplying precise amount of irrigation water (i.e. right quantity at right time) not only saves water used for irrigation, but also protects the groundwater resources and further reduces power consumption used for pumping. For this endeavour, solar water pumps could be a viable alternative for both optimal irrigation and energy from utility grid. This study will focus the rural areas (Kataula, Salgi etc) of Mandi District, Himachal Pradesh and Thondamuthur block of Coimbatore District, Tamilnadu where significant water shortage is affecting mainly groundwater irrigation. Investigators will use the open-source satellite products updated on daily basis and field observed meteorological parameters to forecast the local weather for 5-7 days lead period and store it in the cloud. The soil moisture, temperature sensors along with IoT devices are used to transmit the data to the cloud. The cloud provides crop-specific irrigation information to the users along with other weather parameters such as rainfall, solar irradiation, temperature, and soil moisture level. The user can operate the pump through mobile apps to irrigate, irrespective of power supply from the grid is available or not. During the power shutdown, pumps are operated from the onsite power backups, which will be recharged by the solar PV system.


Dr Subhamoy Sen, Assistant Professor, Dr Tummuru Narsa Reddy, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, Dr B Soundharajan, Associate Professor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Tamil Nadu

Total Budget (INR):


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Organizations involved