Water Control Solutions


Modernization of Large-Scale Agricultural Areas in India

Pushkaraj Mali & Sarit Hatzbany
Pushkaraj Mali & Sarit Hatzbany
23 Oct 2023
Last updated: 15 Apr 2024

Water scarcity drives the need for efficient water use

As a global agricultural powerhouse, irrigation is critical to India’s agricultural growth. Climate change, insufficient rain, and increased consumption due to rapidly developing urban populations and industrial areas have led to water scarcity. During the last decades, the irrigated land area in India has expanded extensively. Traditionally, irrigation in India was mainly carried out by gravity and surface irrigation (flood irrigation) through open canal networks. However, canal irrigation systems are inefficient and lead to poor utilization of irrigation potential.

Recognizing the challenge, the Indian government has been keen to increase efficient water use, investing funds and strongly pushing for solutions that improve irrigation efficiency, aiming to raise agricultural productivity per land area. In 2015, the government launched its “Per Drop More Crop” strategy which mainly focuses on increasing water use efficiency at the farm level through Micro Irrigation Systems (MIS), implementing irrigation modernization technologies and new pressurized irrigation network systems including network digitization and automation.

These pressurized Lift irrigation systems, utilize pressurized water distribution lines from the water source up to the farmers’ plots — implementing micro irrigation and irrigation automation to execute the irrigation schedule. Digitized, pressurized irrigation network systems provide irrigation water as per the designed flow, pressure, and quality, automatically ensuring the delivery of the required water per farmer and per crop.

Lift Irrigation Projects – Overview and Challenges

Lift irrigation schemes must transport water from a water source (e.g. river) by pumps to operative reservoirs and distribute the water to the area under cultivation. Such projects are typically divided into several command areas called "packages", which can cover many thousands of hectares. Each command area is divided into subunits called "Chacks" which cover about 20-30 hectares of cultivated land. Automated irrigation in this type of project is crucial to ensure sufficient flow and pressure to each using the system in order to optimize system performance and dramatically reduce operational labor costs.


With 60 years of experience, BERMAD’s solutions cover the entire lift irrigation project from end to end, which is comprised of:

➀  Pump station & operational reservoirs — pumping water from the water source to the irrigation area
Distribution lines — transporting water using pressurized water pipes over hundreds of kilometers
➂  Outlet Management System (OMS) — each chack is equipped with a smart irrigation control head which allows water associations to control and monitor the pressure and flow delivered to farmers, executing the irrigation schedule as per irrigation design

BERMAD has been providing solutions for surge protection, air management, water metering, and pressure and flow regulation for pumping stations and distribution lines for many years. Additionally, for in-field applications, BERMAD offers the innovative "Outlet Management Solution (OMS)" to Indian irrigation projects.


Smart OMS

Smart irrigation control heads are installed at every 20-30 ha chack, each equipped with an irrigation controller.

The complete OMS consists of:

  • Isolation valve — allows easy maintenance
  • Strainer — prevents the passage of debris such as sticks and stones, therefore protecting the OMS components
  • Combination air valve — enables air management during pipeline fill-up & drainage and releases air pockets during pressurized operation, ensuring accurate water meter reading & proper valve regulation
  • Water meter — monitors & measures the volume of irrigation water
  • Flow control & pressure reducing hydraulic control valve  — protects the system from overconsumption and reduces higher upstream pressure to a lower constant preset downstream pressure, ensuring each farmer receives the required flow & pressure for each crop
  • Remote on/off hydraulic control plot valves — operated by bar-mounted solenoids
  • Irrigation controller - powered by a pole-mounted, small solar panel. The controller allows volumetric and time-based irrigation control & scheduling, providing anytime-anywhere cloud-based connectivity


As part of BERMAD’s vision to improve water use efficiency and shape the future of water control solutions, BERMAD has taken part in the agricultural revolution in India and, in recent years, supplied more than 20K OMS units to agricultural areas ranging from thousands to 100K hectares, across the length and breadth of India. 

The agricultural revolution in India has had a dramatic impact:

  • Water loss created by the use of canal systems has been drastically reduced
    ○  Water usage efficiency has increased by up to 80%
    ○  More agricultural land can be sufficiently irrigated with the same amount of available water
  • More equal distribution of available water — irrespective of plot location, topography, and distance from the water source

  • Significant savings on land acquisition cost bulk water is delivered using underground pressurized pipelines network, therefore minimize land acquisition required for canal networks/BPTs

In addition to India’s central government, states such as Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and TamilNadu have initiated efforts to improve water use efficiency and are integrating BERMAD’s irrigation water supply solutions.  



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Topics: Irrigation, BERMAD webinar

Pushkaraj Mali & Sarit Hatzbany

Written by Pushkaraj Mali & Sarit Hatzbany

Pushkaraj Mali - Chief Application Engineer at BERMAD INDIA, an expert in hydraulic water systems design and engineering, with 10 years of experience in mechanical projects for irrigation and waterworks and Sarit Hatzbany - Application engineer & Product manager in BERMAD Irrigation sector supporting Europe & India markets.

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