Case Study

Smart Irrigation control in rice growing systems – Economic case study

This case study analyses the application of smart sensing and automation in an example bankless channel rice irrigation system. The projected costs and benefits were analysed over a 10 year period using discounted cashflows (5% discount rate). The analysis found:

  • Over an example 100 ha of rice grown per season, the upfront cost ranged from $279/ha (12 ha bays) to $700/ha (3 ha bays) and generated a positive return for all bay sizes.
  • The technology generated a positive return from labour savings alone (IRR of 9%) with additional benefits from water savings.

Smart automation systems, developed by Deakin University and Padman Automation, use a range of sensors to measure soil and water parameters that automatically control irrigation events and water bay heights.


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