Many current irrigation technologies are energy- and cost-intensive. Accessible and affordable water services enable high-value agriculture, providing opportunities for the rural poor and improving food security. The Integrated Turbine Pump (ITP) is an innovative hydraulic device, with the turbine providing energy for the pump. ITP hardware combines higher initial costs with lower running costs compared to fuel-based pump; ITP systems are therefore expected to provide improved irrigation services over the long term. Such services address the economic reality and potential of many smallholder farmers and could build sustainable business models. Cost-effective, sustainable business models for smallholders could be combined with profit-effective models for organisations and/or businesses.
With the cooperation of users and supporting organisations, the PhD candidate translates the ITP principle into irrigation system prototypes providing ‘irrigation as a service’ to communities – building on an iterative design process with inputs from users rather than setting technical parameters as a given. In a co-creative approach, close cooperation with prospective users and support organizstions in selected pilot areas allows translating challenges into specifications and use scenarios. Insights from different contexts are linked early on in the process to develop solution directions that translate the ITP principle into approaches providing ‘irrigation as a service’ to communities. The research project builds on strong involvement of the company Aqysta. The candidate is supported by an interdisciplinary team from Water Resources and Industrial Design.