Adaptive learning through five strands of root-zone knowledge

This project will demonstrate how the collection of five independent strands of irrigation data via a novel sensor and logging platform will link irrigator experience with measured data, link atmospheric scheduling with soil based monitoring, and link water management with solute management.

The project will be carried out in seven locations around the country together with expert practitioners from different sectors of the irrigation industry. The project is unique in its focus on harvesting knowledge via an adaptive learning process, and in the integration of data streams that are usually treated separately.


  • To pioneer an adaptive learning framework for improving irrigation management
  • To engage the private sector to develop and build a prototype sensing and logging platform to collect the necessary data for the adaptive learning process
  • To deploy the sensing platform at seven locations in conjunction with local expert practitioners
  • To develop and deliver a training module in conjunction with the “solute signatures” initiative.


  • Pioneer a different approach to irrigation management by linking grower knowledge with scientific data within an adaptive learning framework at seven sites
  • Provide new insights into irrigation management by linking atmosphere and soil based monitoring and by linking water and solute monitoring
  • Work alongside the private sector to develop the sensing and logging platform fit for commercial development and release.
  • Capture the above in a training module to be incorporated into the CRC “Solute Signatures” initiative and ensure all project participants attend training workshops or are involved in the development of the training module


The project rationale is to link five strands of knowledge that have traditionally been treated separately into an adaptive learning framework. The five strands are:

  • The knowledge of the irrigator based on accumulated experience
  • Potential crop water use as the thermodynamic limit to irrigation
  • Soil water status monitoring
  • Depth of wetting front penetration
  • Electrical conductivity at the wetting front



National Program for Sustainable Irrigation

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id: 2641 / created: 10 September, 2008 / last updated: 08 March, 2010