There are three sections to the Drip Irrigation Evaluation Tool.
This section allows you to collect pressure and flow readings from your own drip irrigation system, and enter your data into the tool to calculate your system’s performance.
To collect your own readings, print out the data collection sheet to record your measurements in the orchard.
Pressure and flow data should be collected from at least 9 locations within an irrigation valve unit. Both pressure and flow should be measured at each location, as recorded as paired data for each location.
Measurements should be taken from the first lateral after the valve, the middle lateral and the last lateral, and along each lateral close to the submain, half way along and at the end of the lateral.
If there are changes in elevation, test at the highest and lowest points and the middle of the slope. The figure below shows examples of irrigation lay-out and where testing should be done.
Flow rate of a single lateral may also be measured, as a cross check. Isolate a single lateral by disconnecting or pinching off the flushing manifold, and then insert a flow meter into the inlet end of the lateral. Record the flow rate of the lateral as displayed by the meter.
Measure the length of the lateral in metres (tape measure, or multiply the number of trees in the row by the tree spacing), and record the dripper spacing (m) and nominal dripper output (L/h), and enter into the data sheet.
Data entry is done by clicking on “Check Your Performance”. In the top table there are a small number of fields in which data is required, the other fields are optional. Required data includes the site name (so that you can identify it later), the date, whether the dripline is pressure compensating or not, and the dripper nominal flow rate (L/h/dripper).
Once you have entered data into this table, you can proceed to enter the pressure and flow data collected in the orchard. Click on the plus sign (+) to add new rows to the table, and enter the data recorded on the data collection sheet.
There is also a button at the bottom of the first table to enable you to enter the lateral flow rate data if you wish (this is optional).
Once you have entered all of your data, enter your email address and click on “Submit Data” to submit the data and calculate the performance of your drip irrigation system. If you first click on “Email Code” then a code will be sent to you which will allow you to access the results page. However, the code will also appear on the screen so that you can access the results immediately without waiting for the email to arrive.
Please save the email for later reference, you will be asked for this code every time you access your data. Each new set of data entered will be associated with a unique code.
This section can be accessed directly from the “Check Your Performance” section when you submit a new set of data, or from the main menu screen at any time. You will be asked to provide the code for the data set you wish to view.
You may enter more than one code, in order to view up to four data sets at once, allowing you to compare different valve units on your property, or compare performance before and after maintenance operations. It is important to retain the codes for all data sets you enter, to enable access to the data at a later date.
The review screen displays dials summarising the performance of each valve unit against the standard for each indicator, indicating whether the valve unit being viewed is within the acceptable range (“Good”), a little outside of this range (“Slightly High” or “Slightly Low”), or well outside the acceptable range (“High” or “Low”). A written summary of the performance against each indicator is also provided.
Below this are graphs of the performance of the specific valve units being evaluated, compared to a set of 50 Almond industry drip irrigation sites tested during the Hort Innovations funded “Almond Irrigation Best Practice Management Project”. This puts your system’s performance into context with the range of performance measured across the Australian Almond industry.
Information about drip irrigation system assessment, maintenance and repairs is summarised under the “Information” tab, and contains links to videos and documents published by state government departments and irrigation companies. These links provide information which can assist in improving the performance of your irrigation systems.
With a user account you can easily save, view and compare multiple sites. To create a user account click the "Log In" button in the top right menu bar to take you to the login screen. On this screen you can click "Register New User" to create a new account. Enter name, email address and password and click "Register". An authentication code will be sent to your email which you will need to enter to complete registration. Once registered you can login with your email address and password.
As a logged in user all irrigation performance sites you enter will be saved to your account. You can view a list of all of your sites by selecting "My Results" from the popup menu when you click on your name in the top right menu bar. You can click on a site to view results or select multiple sites and click "Compare Sites" to view / compare multiple sites. If you created a site before you created a user account you can add that site to your account my clicking on the "Add Site Using Code" button and enter the code that was emailed to you for that site.
"My Account" allows you to change your name, email address or password. If you are not logged in and can't remember your password you can go to the login screen and enter the email address only and click "Reset Password" to get a temporary password emailed to you. Once you login with that password you can change it through the "My Account" menu option.