Set up of an automatic water quality sampling system in irrigation agriculture
We have developed a high-resolution automatic sampling system for continuous in situ measurements of stable water isotopic composition and nitrogen solutes along with hydrological information. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (d2H and d18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer (ProPS) for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The automatic sampling system consists of different sampling stations equipped with pumps, a switch cabinet for valve and pump control and a computer operating the system. The complete system is operated via internet-based control software, allowing supervision from nearly anywhere. The system is currently set up at the International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, The Philippines) in a diversified rice growing system to continuously monitor water and nutrient fluxes. Here we present the systems technical set-up and provide initial proof-of-concept with results for the isotopic composition of different water sources and nitrate values from the 2012 dry season.