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WATER CONSERVATION IN IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE - PROVEN MEANS AND METHODS

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): Dieter PRINZ
Amir H. MALIK

Prof. Dr. Dieter PRINZ & Dr. Amir H. MALIK Institute of Water Resources Management, Hydraulic and Rural Engineering, prinz@iwk.uka.de



Keyword(s): Water conservation, water efficiency, irrigation methods, irrigation management
Article:

Abstract

In irrigated areas as well as in dryland agriculture it becomes more and more imperative to look for water conservation measures, defining water conservation as any beneficial reduction in water losses, waste or use. There are a number of proven water conservation means and losses in conveyance and distribution, in application of irrigation water, of evaporation losses from water and soil surfaces and of percolation losses from soil and water bodies. In larger irrigation schemes the conveyance losses alone sum up 30-50% of the total water demand. Evaporation losses from soil surfaces can be minimised by mulching and shading. The minimising of transpiration losses is of lower importance, with the reduction of wind speed and in irrigation water application can be accomplished by a more rational use of water e.g. in supplemental irrigation or deficit irrigation. Further-on, farmers can apply more efficient irrigation methods like trickle irrigation, subsurface irrigation or pitcher irrigation. Improved application techniques like surge irrigation have also shown a great potential to increase water productivity in irrigation. Other techniques improve the water retention within a field, allowing better infiltration and water storage in the soil matrix. The water storage capacity of soil can be improved by incorporation of organic matter and More yield with less water can be achieved to a very large extent by applying methods and techniques in irrigation management...

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