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ENV4106 Irrigation Science

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Agricultural, Civil, Environmental Engineering
Version produced : 20 April 2014

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Joseph Foley
Moderator: Malcolm Gillies

Requisites

Pre-requisite: AGR3304 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCEN or GDET or METC or MEPR or GCNS or GDNS or MENS

Synopsis

The control of the application of water to land (irrigation) and the removal of surplus water from land (drainage) is critical to much of Australia's agriculture. This course will provide the skills necessary for the design and management of effective, efficient and sustainable on farm irrigation systems. Irrigation application methods (current and proposed) are studied with an emphasis on the evaluation and optimisation of performance. Efficient irrigation also requires an appreciation of the physical processes of the entry, storage and redistribution of water in soils; the uptake of water by plants (including limitations caused by soil salinization); evaporation of water directly into the atmosphere; and evaporation through plants as transpiration (evapotranspiration). The course will also show students that the long term viability of irrigation is dependent upon the provision of adequate surface and subsurface drainage.

Objectives

The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. evaluate the factors limiting the performance of irrigated agriculture (in particular Australian irrigated agriculture) and urban irrigation and assess the technologies and management strategies available to address those limitations;
  2. describe quantitatively the occurrence and movement of water in soils, including the processes of infiltration, redistribution and drying, and the upward movement of water from a water-table;
  3. describe quantitatively the fundamental physics of atmospheric evapo-transpiration; and assess the relative magnitudes of the various factors controlling evaporation in any given agricultural or naturally-vegetated situation;
  4. determine the actual crop evaporation from standard daily Bureau of Meteorology station data using the 'FA056-Penman-Monteith' method; evaluate in comparison with standard evaporation pan data; and hence determine the water requirement of crops and prepare workable irrigation schedules;
  5. analyse the characteristics of irrigation application methods (surface, sprinkler and micro-irrigation), evaluate system performance, and design systems for maximum performance;
  6. apply the technologies and practices required to maintain sustainable irrigation, including the maintenance of acceptable salt balances in the root zone and the provision of adequate drainage.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Irrigation performance and evaluation 15.00
2. Soil plant atmosphere continuum 20.00
3. Micrometeorology and the physics of evaporation 20.00
4. Irrigation scheduling 10.00
5. Irrigation application methods 25.00
6. Drainage 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2013&sem=02&subject1=ENV4106)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Allen, R. G., Pereira, L. S., Raes, D. and Smith, M 1998, Crop Evapotranspiration - Guidelines for Computing Crop Water Requirements.
    (FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56. http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0490e00.htm.)
  • Hillel, D 1971, Soil and Water - Physical Principles and Processes, Academic Press, New York.
  • International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement 1979, Drainage principles and applications, 2nd rev edn, International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, Wageningen, Netherlands.
    (Vol 1-4.)
  • Oke, J. R 1988, Boundary Layer Climates, 2nd edn, Methuen, London.
  • Walker, WR & Skogerboe, GV 1987, Surface irrigation - theory and practice, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Directed Study 50.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 43.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PORTFOLIO 200 20 27 Sep 2013
IRRIGATION SCHED ASSIGNMENT 300 30 08 Oct 2013
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAM 500 50 End S2 (see note 1)

NOTES
  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); a scientific calculator which is non-programmable, that does not hold textual information and cannot display graphs.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au.

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  8. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  9. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.