Project properties

Title Reducing water usage and NOx emission: A �two-in-one� approach using drip irrigation and drip nitrogen fertigation
Group Water Resources Management group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Harm Boesveld, Rhaphael Kiran
Examiner(s)
Contact info harm.boesveld@wur.nl
Begin date 2021/03/01
End date 2022/01/01
Description Country: Netherlands
Host institute: MegaGroup Trade Holding B.V.
Period: tbd
Project type: thesis or internship

Problem context
Irrigation and fertilization are regarded as the key components when it comes to crop cultivation. Accounting to almost 70% of total fresh water, agriculture is the largest water user worldwide. Sustainable use of fresh water for cultivation is regarded as one of the key priorities for healthy ecosystems, socio-economic development, and for human survival itself. Agriculture is also a major source of water pollution from nutrients, pesticides and other contaminants, which if unmanaged can lead to significant social, economic and environmental costs. When nitrogen fertilizer is applied to soil, excess nitrogen is volatilized or leached out and forms nitrogen oxides (NOx), a primary component of photochemical smog, ozone layer depletion as well as causing adverse health affects.

Research Objective/Question
The research will be focused on investigating a �two-in-one� approach in reduction NOx emission as well as water usage in agriculture. Several research groups have reported on a combination of alternate partial root zone drip irrigation with nitrogen drip fertigation as effective approach. Could this be a scalable and sustainable approach in The Netherlands for improving the irrigation water use efficiency and effective utilization of nitrogen compounds in fertilizers while reducing nitrogen accumulation in the soil.

What is expected from the student (type of research)
The student is expected to carry out literature review, field observations, data collection and comparison of crop cultivation in Netherlands using conventional drip irrigation over alternate partial root zone drip irrigation with nitrogen fertigation. The data collected is to be validated through semi structured interviews, statistical analysis based on comparison of crop yield, fertility of soil, nitrogen content is the soil and leaching of NOx to the environment.
Used skills
Requirements