Irrigation management under water scarcity uri icon

abstract

  • The use of water for agricultural production in water scarcity regions requires innovative and sustainable research, and an appropriate transfer of technologies. This paper discusses some of these aspects, mainly relative to on-farm irrigation management including the use of treated wastewater and saline waters. First, the paper proposes some concepts relative to water scarcity, concerning aridity, drought, desertification and water shortage, as well as policies to cope with these water stressed regimes. Conceptual approaches on irrigation performances, water use and water savings are reviewed in a wide perspective. This is followed by a discussion of supply management to cope with water scarcity, giving particular attention to the use of wastewater and low-quality waters, including the respective impacts on health and the environment as water scarcity is requiring that waters of inferior quality be increasingly used for irrigation. The paper then focuses on demand management, starting with aspects relating to the improvement of irrigation methods and the respective performances, mainly the distribution uniformity (DU) as a fundamental tool to reduce the demand for water at the farm level, and to control the negative environmental impacts of over-irrigation, including salt stressed areas. Discussions are supported by recent research results. The suitability of irrigation methods for using treated wastewaters and saline waters is analysed. Supplemental-irrigation (SI) and deficit irrigation strategies are also discussed, including limitations on the applicability of related practices. The paper also identifies the need to adopt emerging technologies for water management as well as to develop appropriate methodologies for the analysis of social, economic, and environmental benefits of improved irrigation management. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002