Water uses and productivity of irrigation systems
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Reducing overall water diversions for agriculture, while maintaining or increasing production to keep up with increasing world population, has been and will continue to be a challenge. Yet there is not good agreement regarding the programs needed to improve the productivity of agricultural water use, nor what increases are feasible. It is recognized that field irrigation is inherently nonuniform. So also is the distribution of water to users and water delivery service nonuniform. Here, we suggest that crop-scale irrigation uniformity can be examined at a project scale by understanding how field, farm and project irrigation systems contribute to nonuniformity. We also discuss the interrelation between project scale uniformity and the relative irrigation water supply, and their combined impact on project productivity. We provide an example which relates internal measures of project performance (e.g., water distribution operations) and external measures of project performance (e.g., project-wise water productivity).
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