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An Appraisal of Water and Power Budgeting Systems for Sustainable Irrigation at Ubombo

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O Box 3003, Morogoro, TANZANIA
  • 2 Ubombo Sugar Limited, P.O Box 23, Big Bend, SWAZILAND

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 3, Issue (4), Pages 1-9, April,26 (2014)

Abstract

An analysis is given of the water and power budgeting systems used at Ubombo Sugar estate for sustainable irrigation water supply. A desk review of the approaches used to establish water and power budgets was carried and a new model was developed parallel to existing budgets to establish discrepancies. The development process constituted a broad set of parameters such as meteorological data, crop data and planted area, harvesting programs, irrigation systems, pumps and motor specifications, pumping hours, cost per kilowatt hour and actual flow rates. Water and power budgets were found not satisfactory with regards to satisfying crop water demand. Actual water inflows and pumping were determined by capacities of structures used for conveyance and losses were incurred during periods of low demand due to continuous flow type of delivery system. Electricity budgets were often based on historical power records which affected overall water supply as 70% of the estate is under pressurized irrigation. The new model developed from first principles of water and power demand demonstrated that existing budgeting systems limited the use of the resources particularly electricity and caused severe losses on irrigation water. Inaccurate supply-demand indices also affected decision making on bulk water management. Consequently, a new and improved budgeting model needs to be developed and adopted for sustainable irrigation water supply and sugarcane yields.

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