The IMIS project can be divided into three main components:
1. Basic and applied research. Evapotranspiration (ET) models for several conventional and specialized crops is evaluated for the designated sites and prioritized according to applicability criteria. Research efforts focus on developing applications of the selected models using existing lysimeter and other experimental facilities in the cooperating institutions. Soil and plant water-status measurement instrumentation is being evaluated, adapted and integrated into the system according to the same applicability criteria.
2. Technological infrastructure. An irrigation management information network using existing and additional automated meteorological stations, communication links, computers, programs and databases operates at the project centers. The above models guide irrigation scheduling. For crops with no applicable models, an improved reference ET approach including crop radiation interception is being used. A distributed data-handling model has been introduced, including local data acquisition and processing for immediate information distribution. Central support is provided for program and equipment maintenance, quality control, central database management and global data processing needs.
3. Development of human resources. The sustainability of the system depends on the acceptance of the irrigation scheduling criteria by the extension services and the farming community. Securing confidence in the system-generated recommendations will depend on an extensive educational and training effort. This effort includes field experiments, demonstration plots, model farms, and commitment of field advisors and extension personnel. The growers or collaborating farmers are directly involved in the research efforts, demonstrations and day-by-day operation of the system and establishing the pilot as a replicable model.