A Feasibility Study for an Irrigation System in Lubonja, Albania

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för teknik och samhälle; Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för teknik och samhälle


This project is a part of the collaboration between the Swedish-Albanian Association in Mariestad and the Albanian Centre of Excellence in Tirana. The project is a preliminary feasibility study for an improved irrigation system in the mountain village Lubonja, Korça Region, Albania.

When the Albanian communism regime fell in 1990, the infrastructure degenerated and the irrigation systems where almost destroyed. Various organizations, like the World Bank, have assisted with the restoring of the systems, especially in the mountain areas. Today, the most of the systems is in functional condition.

The village of Lubonja is located in South-Eastern part of Albania. The village is a part of the Korça Region and is located 27 km from the town Korça. The fields have an altitude that varies from 930 to 870 meters above sea level and have a total approximate size of 490 hectares. Lubonja has a population of almost 560 inhabitants and the prime livelihood is farming. Today, each family is self sufficient and cultivate many kinds of crops on their fields.

There are two main streams in the region; the Lubonja River and a river from the Rehova mine area. Lubonja River comes from the mountains and flows through the village, where grey water and black water is added. The other stream is mixed with the polluted water from the old copper mine. There is also a reservoir on the hill side of the mountain which is for irrigation use only.

To calculate the needed amount of water, a small field survey has been performed. The different parts in the survey are; soil type, water quality, evaporation and climate data. The results of the field survey were compiled, with assistance of Dr. Kovaçi, Institute of Land in Tirana. It resulted in the irrigation period and the needed amount of water during the irrigation season in Lubonja. The needed amount of water varies from 1250 m3/ha to 4300 m3/ha depending on the crop and the period when irrigation is necessary is from the middle of May to the end of September.

The proposed design of the system is a combination of restoring the old canals in the area, where the system was sufficient and installing a pipe system in the area, where the old system was insufficient. The idea is to irrigate the area with the water which is now wasted from the reservoir due to leaking valves and shallow streams. To eliminate the waste of water, a pipe will lead the water from the outlet of the reservoir to a switch where there is a y-crossing. After the switch one pipe goes to the main canal and the other leads the water to area where the pipe system is implemented.

The pipe system will prepare for a usage of modern technology like drip irrigation and sprinklers. Each farmer will be able to choose how to use the water by connecting hoses to taps. Due to the high position of the reservoir the pressure in the pipes will be sufficient without using a pump.

The calculations for the system are divided into two parts. The first part is the canals, where an appropriate cross section and the needed amount of concrete are calculated. The amount of concrete for the canals is approximately 200 m3. The second part is the pipe system, where the pressure and velocity in the pipes and valves are calculated to be certain that a pump will not be needed and to get proper dimensions of the pipes. The maximum pressure is 1 471 500 Pa, the total outflow when all taps are open is 0.07m3/s and maximum velocity when tap 25 is open is 24.0 m/s.

It is important that a system like this is being implemented in close collaboration with the villagers.

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