Efficiently managing irrigation networks

Water is becoming a scarce resource and it is of growing importance to efficiently use it in agriculture, particularly in arid climates, where recent droughts have brought an urgency to develop techniques for monitoring water irrigation and crop productivity. Increasing irrigation potential in the command areas requires considerable efforts, both in terms of time and money. Advances in remote sensing and GIS have offered water resource researchers and managers a new and fresh way for obtaining accurate spatial data on actual water use, water demand, allocation and distribution of water, and crop yield. For these tasks, the Leica Geosystems Zeno 10 GNSS /GIS handheld device with Zeno Office software provides the ideal solution. It is easy-to-use for non-GIS professionals, customisable and upgradable, allowing enhanced performance and increased profitability in the field of asset collection & management. By simplifying data integration from field to office, rich geospatial data of assets is easily captured and managed with one simple workflow.

El Concorde Construction is an organisation specialising in the design, engineering, management and construction of projects. The company has been contracted to define an integrated meticulous strategic plan for developing and managing water resources throughout Iraq in order to ensure sustainable management and development of the country’s water and land resources. Long-term project phases are seen for the future in 2015, 2020, 2025, and 2035.

This project, which has been developed for several areas, in particular for the locations along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their main water courses, for a total area of 12,000 square kilometres (4,630 square miles).

Project planning and requirements
All the survey features for the irrigation system and also their locations, need to be incorporated into an improved database to facilitate their planning. Every asset needs to be surveyed, feature by feature. Due to the nature of the data and the required accuracy, as well as the difficulty to access certain locations, it was decided that a physical survey would prove more cost effective than a vehicle-based one.

Collecting data with Leica Zeno 10
For such a large survey area, with high volumes of data and with work taking place regardless of weather the right choice of the right survey equipment was essential. El Concorde selected the Leica Zeno 10 GNSS/GIS handheld using Leica Zeno Field software due to its compatibility with the existing Esri based GIS, its excellent mobility and its screen performance. In addition, the Leica Zeno GIS solution offers reliable technical support and this is essential when adopting new equipment into a business or project. A key element of ensuring rich asset detail was captured at the point of survey, making sure all data could be captured in a single visit. The integrated camera on the Zeno 10, which helped to document features with images, was invaluable for internal quality processes and assessments, and enabled the staff in the office to easily understand documentation, making it easier for them to work together and ensure the right data was captured at the time. This way, revisits were eliminated, thus minimising costs and delivering datasets without delay.

A simple workflow chain
The Leica Zeno GIS solution ensures efficient workflows by reducing trips from the field to the office because it offers the ability to monitor data captured in the field, enabling direct integration in the office.

The data of the irrigation network that was captured with the Zeno 10 can easily be imported with just one click using the ‘EasyIn’ workflow from Zeno Office. The latest data is transferred directly to Esri ArcMap. This automated process is very easy to maintain and manage and ArcMap generates the final map that contains QC and processed data.

For further map updates that require new survey operations for the irrigation network, El Concorde Construction export features from ArcMap to Zeno Field using the equally simple ‘EasyOut’ wizard. Once the surveyors go out, they take the updated data set into the field.

Mohammed Al-Eswid, Project and Geomatics Engineer at El Concorde Construction states, “Leica Zeno could be easily carried to survey sites. Users can collect information by simply taking a picture with the handheld and entering the data which has been measured on-site and updated by Esri ArcGIS. The best thing is, you don't need to go back to the office for days.”

Efficient workflow
A single spatial database for each project was designed and Leica Zeno Office software was used to create and manage a database containing all mandatory attribute fields requested, as well as other information, such as site photographs. It also contains drop down lists to improve data quality and speed of collection. The entire projects were surveyed by a specialist team of surveyors who collected 40,000 features.

Written by Nabil Abdelkader


Check out more customer case studies in our quarterly magazine Reporter
Check out more customer case studies in our quarterly magazine Reporter

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