Rubicon to modernise major irrigation region in India

Rubicon Water has won the tender to modernise the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NLBC) system in the Indian state of Karnataka. The irrigation supply system, which is part of the Upper Krishna Project, is managed by Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd (KBJNL). The project will automate around 3,000 km of canals and provide 450,000 hectares of farmland with a reliable and efficient irrigation water supply.

The Karnataka government and the Indian central government through the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) scheme are funding the project as part of a drive to improve regional water security, boost agricultural productivity and remove obstacles to economic growth. The project will also help improve the livelihoods of farmers by providing them with a reliable, near on-demand water supply service, which will enable them to grow more diverse and higher-value crops.

Of the water that is currently diverted into the NLBC system, only around 30% reaches crops and around 32% of the area that is equipped for irrigation does not receive water. By using our autonomous canal control solution, KBJNL will reduce distribution losses, which will increase water availability and bridge the ‘irrigation gap’ between potential and actual irrigation performance. The solution will enable an additional 142,580 hectares of un-serviced land to be brought into service along with 37,000 hectares of currently saline land.

The solution involves installing a radio communications network, automated control gates and meters, and software which enables the system to be remotely and autonomously managed. FlumeGates and refurbished radial gates will be used on the main canals, SlipMeters on lateral and distributary offtakes and PikoMeters at farm turnouts.

Additionally, a network of Rubicon weather stations and soil moisture sensors will be installed across the region. This will provide farmers using our AgTech app with mobile alerts predicting the optimal time to irrigate, so that they can maximize the productive output of their water.

The project is being undertaken together with our joint venture partner Medha Servo Drives, based in Hyderabad, Telangana. The project will take approximately two years to complete.