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Title: An Environmental Analysis of Irrigation with Optimization and Weather Forecasts
Authors: Dong, Zhengyue Anna
Advisors: Caudill, Reggie
van Handel, Ramon
Porporato, Amilcare
Department: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Certificate Program: Engineering and Management Systems Program
Center for Statistics and Machine Learning
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: In many regions of the world, irrigation is vital to food security and agricultural productivity. Prudent management of irrigation systems becomes paramount under a probable scenario of rising climatic variability and population growth, which would necessitate increased irrigation. This thesis seeks to extend a mathematical model for irrigation schemes, first introduced by Vico and Porporato, to include the influence of weather forecast data on irrigation schedules. We then propose a novel irrigation strategy which minimizes irrigation volume throughout the growing season using weather forecast information. This thesis employs a life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to evaluate the environmental impact of different irrigation strategies. Using LCA, we can include both the upstream and downstream environmental impacts of each irrigation strategy in our analysis. The profitability of each method is examined alongside its environmental impact. Ultimately, we observe that while profitability comes at a cost in terms of environmental impact, an irrigation strategy which incorporates four days of weather forecast data may optimally balance both interests.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Operations Research and Financial Engineering, 2000-2020

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