The IrriSAT decision support system
Shortening the path to impact by delivering science as a service
‘More crop per drop’ is the aim for most farmers; maximising crop yield profit while minimising impact to the environment. Water is a key cost and input, especially for irrigated crops.
IrriSAT is an irrigation decision support system designed to help farmers with water use decisions. By applying irrigation science to the real world, IrrisSAT makes irrigation management easier, repeatable and more accurate.
Currently, irrigators rely on their experience, in-ground probes, visual inspection and fixed irrigation scheduling. IrriSAT has the potential to help farmers significantly save on water use. Unlike other irrigation decision support systems, IrriSAT makes use of cloud-based computing resources and links them to the appropriate science models in order to help farmers answer questions in a timely and user friendly way through a web browser or mobile device. Other systems rely on manually combining multiple datasets from satellites, on ground sensors and farmer knowledge with biophysical models, delivering them through a specialised application. IrriSAT seamlessly links and integrates relevant and up-to-date data sources with models.
The IrriSAT system has a strong and growing user base of over a 1000 registered users, with around 70 unique users active on the system each week.
The real success of IrriSAT is its ability to continue to grow and expand its impact beyond the original core use case, a standalone web application. Now IrriSAT’s web services are being used to also power third-party, value-added service providers such as those provided by Goanna Telemetry and Murrumbidgee Irrigation. Through the use of the Science as a Service delivery model, combined with innovative use of web based technologies, the IrriSAT project is directly reaching the beneficiaries of irrigation science, thereby shortening the path to impact of the science.