MSc thesis subject: Location-based services and image recognition for irrigation management in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican national service for groundwater, irrigation and drainage (SENARA) works along four major lines of action: irrigation, drainage, flood prevention and groundwater research and conservation. It aims to optimally utilize and manage water resources for supporting national production and for developing and improving the quality of life of the country’s inhabitants. Currently, SENARA uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for presenting its projects but GIS is not being used for system design nor for the daily management of irrigation systems.

SENARA aims to incorporate geo-spatial functionalities in a strategically important integrated water resource management system. Concerns about deficient climate resilience of current irrigated agricultural production imply that the efficiency and effectiveness of irrigation systems should be increased. This thesis topic involves the development of a user-friendly app for reporting failures of irrigation systems and for managing and reporting water use in the field along with the required back-end web processing services. Some functionality has already been implemented and can be used as a starting point.


  • Design and develop location-based services for irrigation system management, including failure reporting and water distribution.
    Implement image recognition (machine vision) for automated reading of gauge values (pressure or volume and if feasible, both) using the camera of cell phones.
  • Design and develop web processing services supporting the app at server side.
  • Implement the above in a user-friendly Android app.
  • Test the app.



  • Scripting expertise
  • Analytical skills
  • Preferably expertise with Android Studio or similar

Theme(s): Sensing & measuring, Modelling & visualisation