Drip irrigation is considered the best technique to save water in agriculture. However clogging of drippers is the main cause of loss of water efficiency, especially for small farmers involved in a modernization process. This can be caused by physical, chemical or biological factors, individually or combined. These phenomena will be increased when treated wastewater is reused in irrigation. On agricultural field, with the exception of visible symptoms on crops, the decrease of the dripper efficiency is a challenge to detect. This becomes impossible in the case of buried installations in the soil. The thesis project aims to enhance our knowledge of fouling mechanisms and the development of innovative detection methodology for the dripper clogging using spectrometry method.
The first step will concern the quantification (kinetics) and qualification (composition) of physical, chemical and biological fouling by optical methods according to the irrigation water qualities (particle concentration or treated wastewater). In the second step, the method which presents the best opportunities will retained in order to develop the proof concept of fouling sensor adapted to the irrigation context.