Optimum design of microirrigation systems in sloping lands
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When an area to be irrigated has a high slope gradient in the manifold line direction, an option is to use a tapered pipeline to economize on pipe costs and to keep pressure head variations within desired limits. The objective of this paper is to develop a linear optimization model to design a microirrigation system with tapered, downhill manifold lines, minimizing the equivalent annual cost of the hydraulic network and the annual pumping cost, and maximizing the emission uniformity previously established to the subunit. The input data are irrigation system layout, cost of all hydraulic network components, and electricity price. The output data are equivalent annual cost, pipeline diameter in each line of the system, pressure head in each node, and total operating pressure head. To illustrate its capability, the model is applied in a citrus orchard in Sao, Paulo State, Brazil, considering slopes of 3, 6, and 9%. The model proved to be efficient in the design of the irrigation system in terms of the emission uniformity desired.