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Pumping water for irrigation in agriculture
Making the best use of water resources
Water is a key and vital element in agriculture and it is a scarce and unequal resource in many areas of the planet. Choosing the hydraulic pump that best suits your irrigation needs is of vital importance.
Drought years are becoming more frequent and the need for clean water is increasing. Therefore, water management due to water scarcity is the main challenge for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector
Water scarcity or unequal distribution of water makes it necessary to move water from one place to another. Pumping water for irrigation from remote areas or from deep wells can be a necessity and, at the same time, a great advantage.
The efficiency of irrigation in a crop is given by the ratio between the amount of water used for the crop and the amount of water used by the pump.) The less efficient the system, the more difficult it is to achieve the goal of saving water.
How to choose the most efficient pump for your crop
In order to know how to select the right pump, it is important to take into consideration the following basic elements:
> Type of fluid to be supplied.
> Quantity of fluid to be supplied.
> Distance between pump and point of use.
> Type of energy available and pumping system.
1- Type of water to be pumped and depth.
If the water to be pumped is drinking water, river water, well water, water from a reservoir, rainwater, sewage... this will influence the characteristics that the pump must have in order to adapt to the task that needs to be carried out. A submersible pump should be used if the water is deeper than seven metres. However, a surface pump should be installed if the water is at a shallow depth or above the installation.
2- Flow rate or volume of water and pumping pressure
The flow rate is an essential value for the selection of the pump. Flow rate = volume/time (e.g. m3/hour). The pressure is used to calculate the manometric head to be pumped. Manometric head or pumping pressure = geometric head + pressure drop + working pressure.
3- Distance between the water pump and the point of delivery
The length travelled allows the calculation of the head losses that will be caused and the selection of the most suitable pipes. If there is already conduction in the installation, we will have to calculate the head losses that are going to be generated by friction.
4- Type of energy available and pumping system
Depending on the type of energy, a single-phase 220V or three-phase 380V electric pump can be installed. In drinking water networks, hydro-pneumatic controls, level controls, variable speed drives, electronic controllers, etc. are used. In irrigation installations, the most common is manual start-up or with a programmer.
The following important elements should also be taken into account for installation.
It is advisable to install a pressure gauge to monitor the pressure.
The degree of watertightness of the pump is identified by the IP protection rating.
It is advisable to install a non-return valve to prevent the pump from discharging.
A filter must be fitted at the start of suction.
A thermal overload relay reduces the risk of short-circuit in the event of the pump running dry.
The pump does not withstand freezing temperatures, so it must be drained after each use and protected from frost and humidity to prevent damage to the seals and corrosion.