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WATER USE IN GREENHOUSES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

Congress: 2008
Author(s): M. Teitel and S. Topcu
M. Teitel, Corresponding author: ARO, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, P.O.B 6, Bet-Dagan, Israel, 50250. E-mail: grteitel@agri.gov.il S. Topcu, Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Structures and Irrigation, 01330 Adana/TURKIYE. E-mail: stopcu@cu.edu.tr
AbstractGreenhouse cultivation has extended significantly in the Mediterranean region such that the total growing areas in this region is more than 200000 ha. Worldwide including Mediterranean countries, agricultural sector consumes about two thirds of all fresh water with relative low water use efficiency. Moreover, in Mediterranean coastal areas like in Turkey, Spain and Israel with increasing water demands (including as a consequence of global climate changes), intensive agriculture, tourism and other sectors are competing for scarce water resources. Therefore evaluation of water use efficiency including water productivity is going to be a prerequisite for any future water and food production policy in the Mediterranean countries. Achieving high water use efficiency in greenhouse production is possible by exerting optimal control of both environmental parameters within the greenhouse and cultural practices which will both eventually lead higher yield and less water use. Research on greenhouse water management has mainly focused on identifying the best technology to fulfill plant water requirements. The results have lead to the development of techniques such as hydroponics, and soiless culture with closed-loop water systems. These advanced systems are usually controlled by a computer to minimize evaporative losses. These systems are generally used in the glasshouses of northern Europe and America. However, in Mediterranean countries they are much less common. In some Mediterranean countries (e.g. Turkey), irrigation in greenhouses is mainly scheduled according to farmers experience, despite the water scarcity. Present study briefly reviews the techniques used in greenhouses for water saving. It provides information on water use and water productivity of different crops in Mediterranean greenhouses. It specifically describes experiments that were done with a rose crop, in Israel, in a greenhouse with a closed-loop water system in which the effect of climate parameters on transpiration was investigated.
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