Applied Water Science (v.1, #3-4)

Intelligent irrigation technologies have been developed in recent years to apply irrigation to turf and landscape plants. These technologies are an evapotranspiration (ET)-based irrigation controller, which calculates ET for local microclimate. Then, the controller creates a program for loading and communicating automatically with drip or sprinkler system controllers. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the new ET sensors in ability to irrigate agricultural crops and to conserve water use for crop in arid climatic conditions. This paper presents the case for water conservation using intelligent irrigation system (IIS) application technology. The IIS for automating irrigation scheduling was implemented and tested with sprinkle and drip irrigation systems to irrigate wheat and tomato crops. Another irrigation scheduling system was also installed and operated as another treatment, which is based on weather data that retrieved from an automatic weather station. This irrigation control system was running in parallel to the former system (IIS) to be control experiments for comparison purposes. However, this article discusses the implementation of IIS, its installation, testing and calibration of various components. The experiments conducted for one growing season 2009–2010 and the results were represented and discussed herein. Data from all plots were analyzed, which were including soil water status, water consumption, and crop yield. The initial results indicate that up to 25% water saving by intelligent irrigation compared to control method, while maintaining competing yield. Results show that the crop evapotranspiration values for control experiments were higher than that of ET-System in consistent trend during whole growth season. The analysis points out that the values of the two treatments were somewhat close to each other’s only in the initial development stages. Generally, the ET-System, with some modification was precise in controlling irrigation water and has been proven to be a good mean to determine the water requirements for crops and to schedule irrigation automatically.
Keywords: Intelligent irrigation; Evapotranspiration; Smart system; Control irrigation; Arid region

Water reuse guidelines were compiled as a decision-analysis screening tool for application to potential water reuse for irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, and drinking. Data compiled from the literature for water reuses yielded guideline values for over 50 water quality parameters, including concentrations of inorganic and organic constituents as well as general water chemistry parameters. These water quality guidelines can be used to identify constituents of concern in water, to determine the levels to which the constituents must be treated for water reuse applications, and assess the suitability of treated water for reuse. An example is provided to illustrate the application of water quality guidelines for decision analysis. Water quantity analysis was also investigated, and water volumes required for producing 16 different crops in 15 countries were estimated as an example of applying water quantity in the decision-making process regarding the potential of water reuse. For each of the countries investigated, the crop that produces the greatest yield in terms of weight per water volume is tomatoes in Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA; sugarcane in Chad, India, Indonesia, Sudan; watermelons in China; lettuce in Egypt, Mexico; and onions (dry) in Russia.
Keywords: Water use; Water quality; Water quantity; Guidelines; Crops; Decision support

This study investigated the suitability and performance of a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR). Huber vacuum rotation membrane (VRM 20/36) bioreactor was installed at the Sharjah sewage treatment plant (STP) in the United Arab Emirate for 12 months. The submerged membranes were flat sheets with a pore size of 0.038 μm. The VRM bioreactor provided a final effluent of very high quality. The average reduction on parameters such as COD was from 620 to 3 mg/l, BOD from 239 to 3 mg/l, Ammonia from 37 to 2 mg/l, turbidity from 225NTU to less than 3NTU, and total suspended solids from 304 mg/l to virtually no suspended solids. The rotating mechanism of the membrane panels permitted the entire membrane surface to receive the same intensive degree of air scouring, which lead to a longer duration. The MBR process holds a promising future because of its smaller footprints in contrast to conventional systems, superior effluent quality, and high loading rate capacity.
Keywords: Biological; Bioreactor; Membrane; Wastewater

The adsorption of methylene blue (MB) on activated carbons prepared from date stones with different degree of activation has been investigated. Equilibrium adsorption data of MB was carried out at 298 K. Four isotherm models (Freundlich, Langmuir, Redlich–Peterson and Sips) were tested for modeling the adsorption isotherms by nonlinear method. The three-parameter equations (Redlich–Peterson and Sips) showed more applicability than the two-parameter equations (Freundlich and Langmuir), which can be explained by the fact that these have three adjustable parameters. The best fit was achieved with the Redlich–Peterson equation according to the high value of correlation coefficient. All the samples were capable of retaining the MB, with the best result being reached by the sample with higher burn-off. Date stones activated carbon showed high adsorption capacity of 460 mg/g, calculated from the Sips isotherm model.
Keywords: Activated carbon; Surface properties; Nonlinear regression; Equilibrium isotherm

Valuation of irrigation water in South-western Iran using a hedonic pricing model by Abdoulkarim Esmaeili; Zahra Shahsavari (119-124).
Population growth, improved socioeconomic conditions, increased demand for various types of water use, and a reduction in water supply has created more competition for scarce water supplies leveling many countries. Efficient allocation of water supplies between different economic sectors is therefore very important. Water valuation is a useful tool to determine water price. Water pricing can play a major part in improving water allocation by encouraging users to conserve scarce water resources, and promoting improvements in productivity. We used a hedonic pricing method to reveal the implicit value of irrigation water by analyzing agricultural land values in farms under the Doroodzan dam in South-western Iran. The method was applied to farms in which irrigation water came from wells and canals. The availability of irrigation water was one of the most important factors influencing land prices. The value of irrigation water in the farms investigated was estimated to be $0.046 per cubic meter. The estimated price for water was clearly higher than the price farmers currently pay for water in the area of study. Efficient water pricing could help the sustainability of the water resources. Farmers must therefore be informed of the real value of irrigation water used on their land.
Keywords: Value of irrigation water; Agricultural land prices; Hedonic pricing method; Iran

Prediction of toxic metals concentration using artificial intelligence techniques by R. Gholami; A. Kamkar-Rouhani; F. Doulati Ardejani; Sh. Maleki (125-134).
Groundwater and soil pollution are noted to be the worst environmental problem related to the mining industry because of the pyrite oxidation, and hence acid mine drainage generation, release and transport of the toxic metals. The aim of this paper is to predict the concentration of Ni and Fe using a robust algorithm named support vector machine (SVM). Comparison of the obtained results of SVM with those of the back-propagation neural network (BPNN) indicates that the SVM can be regarded as a proper algorithm for the prediction of toxic metals concentration due to its relative high correlation coefficient and the associated running time. As a matter of fact, the SVM method has provided a better prediction of the toxic metals Fe and Ni and resulted the running time faster compared with that of the BPNN.
Keywords: Prediction; Toxic metals; Support vector machine; Sarcheshmeh cooper mine; Back-propagation neural network

Present study explores the potentiality of locally available cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin-rich agricultural by-product sugarcane bagasse (SB) for the removal of erythrosin B (EB) and methylene blue (MB) from aqueous waste. The SB has been characterized by Fourier transform infrared and scanning electron microscopy analytical techniques. Batch experiments have been carried out to determine the influence of parameters like initial dye concentration, pH of the medium, contact time between the adsorbate and adsorbent, weight of adsorbent and system temperature on the removal of EB and MB. Optimum conditions for adsorption are found to be pH 9, temperature 308 K and an equilibration time of 1 h. Under these conditions equilibrium isotherms have been analysed by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm equations. Based on the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model, the predicted maximum monolayer adsorption capacities of SB for EB and MB are found to be 500 mg g–1 (at 328 K) and 1,000 mg g–1 (at 308 K), respectively. The separation factor reveals the favourable nature of the isotherm for the studied dyes—SB system. The thermodynamic study indicates that the adsorptions of dyes are spontaneous and endothermic process. High temperatures favour EB adsorption whereas optimum temperature for MB adsorption is 318 K.
Keywords: Erythrosin B; Methylene blue; Sugarcane bagasse; Adsorption; Isotherms

River Yamuna, in the national capital territory (NCT), commonly called Delhi (India), has been subjected to immense degradation and pollution due to the huge amount of domestic wastewater entering the river. Despite the persistent efforts in the form of the Yamuna Action Plan phase I and II (YAP) (since 1993 to date), the river quality in NCT has not improved. The restoration of river water quality has been a major challenge to the environmental managers. In the present paper, water quality index (WQI) was estimated for the River Yamuna within the NCT to study the aftereffects of the projects implemented during YAP I and II. The study was directed toward the use of WQI to describe the level of pollution in the river for a period of 10 years (2000–2009). The study also identifies the critical pollutants affecting the river water quality during its course through the city. The indices have been computed for pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon season at four locations, namely Palla, ODRB, Nizamuddin and Okhla in the river. It was found that the water quality ranged from good to marginal category at Palla and fell under poor category at all other locations. BOD, DO, total and fecal coliforms and free ammonia were found to be critical parameters for the stretch.
Keywords: CCME WQI 1.0; Water quality index; River Yamuna; DO; BOD; Coliform