Promoting conjunctive water use with pressurized irrigation systems: Water demand management through intermittent irrigation

Muhammad Ullah, Shahzad Ahmed, Muhammad Asghar, Abdul Shakoor

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

Supplemental irrigation has become a prerequisite to minimize risks of crop failures in both rainfed and irrigated agricultural areas, and usually, surface irrigation, in which the entire or most crop area is flooded, is used for irrigating these croplands. More often, however, the water management skills on the farm are lacking and water supplies may be uncertain, and so irrigation efficiency tends to be low. The amounts of water used for irrigation are usually large, and small gains in irrigation efficiency would produce significant increases in water saving. Increased irrigation efficiency also decreases the energy costs of pumping and providing water for irrigation. Several areas of the Indus Basin, Pakistan are susceptible to non-point source groundwater contamination from crop production under current conjunctive water application. The sustainability of groundwater resource is under threat especially in shallow fresh groundwater aquifers, inland as well as at the coastal regions. Efficient use, and economical reuse, of water in irrigation is the key to protecting the quality and quantity of such shallow groundwater aquifers. Generally, these aquifers have limited potential for extracting large quantities of groundwater, and small discharges cannot be applied to the fields using surface irrigation methods. Therefore the effectiveness of alternative (such as pressurized irrigation systems) irrigation methods needs to be determined. In the proposed 'Intermittent Irrigation' practice, the integration of surface irrigation and sprinkler irrigation is suggested in such a way that could help in controlling salinity in the root zone with minimum application of irrigation water by improving the leaching efficiency. The evaluation of this practice was made at the farmers' fields and by using SWAP model, which is a one-dimensional model to describe transient water flow and solute transport in a heterogeneous soil root system. The model offers a wide ranpossibilities to address practical questions in the field of agriculture, water management and environmental protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationselected proceedings of the Water & Wastewater Management for Developing Countries Conference
Place of PublicationDenmark
PublisherIwa Publishing
Pages636
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781843395119
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventWaste & wastewater managment for developing countries (WAMDEC 2004) - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Australia
Duration: 28 Jul 200430 Jul 2004

Conference

ConferenceWaste & wastewater managment for developing countries (WAMDEC 2004)
Country/TerritoryAustralia
Period28/07/0430/07/04

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