Irrigation water distribution and long-term effects on crop and environment uri icon

abstract

  • The response of three water delivery schedules, representing various levels of flexibility, on crop production, water saving, soil salinization, drainage volumes and watertable behavior was examined. A physical-based transient soil water and solute transfer model, Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant (SWAP), was used as a tool. The evaluations were made for un-restricted and restricted water supply situations considering three different watertable conditions prevailing in the fourth drainage project (FDP) of the Punjab, Pakistan. From the simulation results it is apparent that on average the effect of irrigation schedule flexibility on crop yields is not very significant. However, compared to a fixed schedule provided un-restricted canal water supplies are available, the Productivity of irrigation water supply (Y-act/I-IT), is up to 30% higher for the on-demand schedule. The on-demand schedule capable of complying with the temporal variations in climate is also more effective in water saving, reducing drainage volumes and controlling rising water-tables if fanners follow guidelines and do not over-irrigate. In the present water deficient environment of the Indus basin, the benefits of the on-demand schedule and a fixed schedule are comparable. In the absence of sufficient canal water supplies, infrastructure and a well-designed and effective monitoring and communication system, moving towards the on-demand system will be un-productive. For the longterm sustainability of the irrigation system, improvements in the performance of the present water allocations and on-farm water management practices seems to be more necessary. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001
  • 2001
  • 2001