ICTs for Smart Water Management
Location : Burkina Faso or Palestine
Duration : 4- 6 months or according to availability
Availability : As soon as possible
Hosting structure: CODEV (Cooperation & Development Center) at EPFL
Project Description: Improvement of a wireless sensor network to optimize irrigation and increase agricultural productivity in (semi-)arid regions. The student will run field tests in Burkina Faso or Palestine and combine the data with an agronomic model.
Background: In a context of climate change and growing pressure surrounding water resources, the EPFL’s Cooperation & Development Center (CODEV), along with its North and South partners, from private sector businesses and universities in Switzerland, Burkina Faso and Palestine, is developing a technology to support irrigation for family farming in (semi-)arid regions and contribute to food security and resilience to climate change.
Research project “Info4Dourou 2.0” focuses on the usage of low-cost wireless sensor networks to optimize irrigation in arid regions and to collect data for environmental planning and natural resources management. The system has been tested in several micro irrigated perimeters in Burkina Faso since 2012, with very promising results concerning water savings and yield optimization. It has also been deployed in Palestine, in collaboration with Alquds University, since 2016.
The flexible, wireless sensor network measures and transmits eco-hydrologic data using a simple format: when the soil gets too dry, famers receive a text message alert telling them it’s time to irrigate. The information is also available on the Internet for remote users. The support system couples autonomous monitoring with agronomic models to provide a simple to use and install irrigation management system.
Info4Dourou2.0 currently focuses on wider use of this irrigation management system for improving food security and helping to sustainably manage groundwater water resources and in adapting to different climate change scenarios.
Master project goals:
General background knowledge acquisition:
- Investigate and understand relevant literature regarding irrigation: micro and drip irrigation, surface irrigation, manual irrigation with watering cans, soil-measuring techniques, measure based irrigation and irrigation in developing countries
- Get a working understanding of the current system: sensors, measurement, models, and data transmission, current installation and deployments
- Investigate and implement agronomic models to provide simple to use irrigation management information.
- Collect and analyze experiment data
- Compare current results with the model
- Follow/supervise/set up field experiment
- Analyze field data
- Work with local team to improve the irrigation system (interactions with local producters expected as well).
- Environmental engineering.
- Languages :
- English speaking fluency
- For Burkina Faso: French mandatory.
- For Palestine: English mandatory. Arabic a plus.
- Previous experience of developing country/ies is a major plus.
- Student will have to be able to take own initiatives, be flexible and push work forwards if necessary.
Contact : Clémence Bouleau, firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 693 31 96