IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal design of center pivot systems with water supplied from wells


  • Moreno, M.A.
  • Medina, D.
  • Ortega, J.F.
  • Tarjuelo, J.M.


Irrigation is one of the sectors in which energy consumption is increasing, mainly due to modernized systems designed to conserve water through the use of pressurized water distribution. Energy is one of the principle costs in irrigation. In this study, a new methodology is developed to determine the minimum total water application cost (investment+operation costs) in center pivot systems withdrawing water from wells. The proposed methodology optimizes the characteristic and efficiency curves for the pump as well as the types and diameters of pipes for pumping and distribution. In addition, the method accounts for hydrological variables (dynamic water table level and temporal variation), soil variables (infiltration parameters, surface storage capacity, surface impermeability), hydraulic variables (head losses in pipes, flow demand) and economic variables (energy costs, pump and pipe costs). In order to facilitate the technology transfer to managers and technicians, free software (DOP, “Diseño Optimo de Pivotes,” or Optimal Pivot Design) has been developed using MATLAB™. Results show that the best options are timing irrigation to avoid periods of high energy costs as well as increasing pumping power and pipe size, with a greater system capacity (1.5Ls−1ha−1), and shorter operation time (18hday−1). The minimum water application cost is obtained in all case studies in this paper for center pivot systems irrigating 75ha, with lateral pipes of 254mm (10in.).

Suggested Citation

  • Moreno, M.A. & Medina, D. & Ortega, J.F. & Tarjuelo, J.M., 2012. "Optimal design of center pivot systems with water supplied from wells," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 112-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:107:y:2012:i:c:p:112-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2012.01.016

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ortega, J. F. & de Juan, J. A. & Tarjuelo, J. M., 2004. "Evaluation of the water cost effect on water resource management:: Application to typical crops in a semiarid region," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 125-144, April.
    2. Ortíz, J.N. & Tarjuelo, J.M. & de Juan, J.A., 2009. "Characterisation of evaporation and drift losses with centre pivots," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1541-1546, November.
    3. Ortega, J.F. & de Juan, J.A. & Tarjuelo, J.M., 2005. "Improving water management: The irrigation advisory service of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(1-3), pages 37-58, August.
    4. Jackson, Tamara M. & Khan, Shahbaz & Hafeez, Mohsin, 2010. "A comparative analysis of water application and energy consumption at the irrigated field level," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(10), pages 1477-1485, October.
    5. Córcoles, J.I. & de Juan, J.A. & Ortega, J.F. & Tarjuelo, J.M. & Moreno, M.A., 2010. "Management evaluation of Water Users Associations using benchmarking techniques," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 1-11, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carrión, F. & Tarjuelo, J.M. & Carrión, P. & Moreno, M.A., 2013. "Low-cost microirrigation system supplied by groundwater: An application to pepper and vineyard crops in Spain," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 107-118.
    2. Tarjuelo, José M. & Rodriguez-Diaz, Juan A. & Abadía, Ricardo & Camacho, Emilio & Rocamora, Carmen & Moreno, Miguel A., 2015. "Efficient water and energy use in irrigation modernization: Lessons from Spanish case studies," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 67-77.
    3. Ouazaa, S. & Latorre, B. & Burguete, J. & Zapata, N., 2016. "Effect of intra-irrigation meteorological variability on seasonal center-pivot irrigation performance and corn yield," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 201-214.
    4. García-González, J.F. & Moreno, M.A. & Molina, J.M. & Madueño, A. & Ruiz-Canales, A., 2015. "Use of software to model the water and energy use of an irrigation pipe network on a golf course," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 37-42.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:107:y:2012:i:c:p:112-121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.