FLOW-AID is an on-going 6th Framework European project (2006-2009) with the objective to contribute to sustainable irrigated agriculture by developing an irrigation management system that can be used for crop production in cases with limited water supply and marginal water quality. The project integrates innovative sensor technologies into a decision support system, taking into consideration boundary conditions and constraints for a number of practical growing systems in the Mediterranean. It focuses on innovative, simple and affordable, hard- and software concepts for deficit irrigation; particularly a maintenance free tensiometer, a wireless and low-power sensor network; an expert system to assist annual farm zoning and crop planning in view of expected water availability and quality; and an irrigation scheduler for allocation of water for multiple plots at farm level. The system is being evaluated at four sites located in Italy, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The sites are chosen in such a way that they differ in the type of constraints, irrigation structures, crop types, water supplies (availability of amount and quality), the local goals, and their complexity. This paper describes the overall concept and briefly the progress of the first year research.
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