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Special Issue "Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Henk Ritzema

Water Resources Management (formerly Irrigation and Water Engineering) Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 (0)317 486 607
Interests: agricultural land drainage; salinity control; irrigation; capacity building

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increase in food production, one of the main pillars in the fight against poverty, has to be achieved by increasing production of existing lands through investments in improved irrigation and drainage practices. In the last few decades, there has also been a gradual change in land use: urbanization and non-agricultural uses, including ecosystem services, have been increasing. The climate is changing, cropping patterns are diversifying, and field irrigation methods are changing. As a result, river basins are closing, water sources are becoming increasingly contested, and stakeholders engage in different ways of influencing water policies and intervention programs.

There is an urgent need for modifications in agricultural water management practices, so as to adapt to these changing socio-economic and climate conditions, and to improve water efficiency, productivity, and security. Improved water efficiency often goes hand in hand with an increased risk of salinization. At the other end of the spectrum, increased rainfall intensities increase the risk of waterlogging. To reverse these negative trends, irrigation and drainage practices have to be improved by introducing more control, at the field level, at the tertiary level, and at the project/basin level. The challenge is to find a balance between individual water management needs, which vary from field to field and farmer to farmer, and water management as a collective activity of society.

This Special Issue on Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage welcomes contributions that cover these challenges for improving irrigation and drainage practices.

Dr. Henk Ritzema
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • irrigation
  • drainage
  • agricultural water management
  • adaptation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Supporting Farmer-Led Irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on Field-Testing a New Design Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 580; doi:10.3390/su8060580
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
PDF Full-text (551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes
[...] Read more.
Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers’ initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver’s seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Water Management Supporting the Delivery of Ecosystem Services for Grassland, Heath and Moorland
Sustainability 2016, 8(5), 440; doi:10.3390/su8050440
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 4 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present era, permanent grasslands and other grazed habitats, i.e., moorlands and heath, are appreciated as avant la lettre green infrastructure (GI) resources, providing a wide range of ecosystem services, the delivery of many of which require water management to be
[...] Read more.
In the present era, permanent grasslands and other grazed habitats, i.e., moorlands and heath, are appreciated as avant la lettre green infrastructure (GI) resources, providing a wide range of ecosystem services, the delivery of many of which require water management to be in place. This paper discusses the role of water management and, in particular, that of drainage. We contend that controlled drainage and drainage-irrigation systems can contribute to the sustainable use of grasslands and associated habitats in the European Union. We present examples from a range of habitats in several EU Member States and attempt to identify the contemporary (short-term) costs as well as the short-term revenues covering these costs. Options for enhancing the role of the Green Infrastructure in Europe to achieve sustainable land use by including all “permanent grassland” are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Issues and Challenges in Spatial and Temporal Water Allocation in the Nile Delta
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 383; doi:10.3390/su8040383
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract
“Egypt is a gift of the Nile,” wrote Herodotus, and indeed, without the Nile there would be no Egypt as the world knows it. Egypt is mainly dependent on the flow in the Nile River (with an agreed share of 55.5 BCM) and
[...] Read more.
“Egypt is a gift of the Nile,” wrote Herodotus, and indeed, without the Nile there would be no Egypt as the world knows it. Egypt is mainly dependent on the flow in the Nile River (with an agreed share of 55.5 BCM) and it receives about 1.3 BCM rainfall annually (mainly along the north coast). The overall water use efficiency is already high, due to e.g., water scarcity and reuse of drainage water. Egypt’s water resources are managed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), with agriculture as by far the largest user of irrigation water, with a share of about 85%. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the major issues and challenges in the spatial and temporal allocation of water, in relation to a free cropping pattern and the characteristics of the irrigation system. We conclude that the current world-wide call for “crop-demand-based precision irrigation supply” will not be easily attainable in Egypt. Instead, “water security” in the form of “guaranteed or agreed” water supply may be a preferred water allocation aim for various reasons, including lack of large storage possibilities, impossibility of fine-tuning supplies in the system, and the needed capacity to deal with (future) droughts. Although the paper concentrates on technical issues, it is increasingly realized that the challenges are not only of a technical nature and that there is a need for integration of policies as well as a need to establish effective science–business–policy interfaces at the national level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Subsurface Drainage to Enable the Cultivation of Winter Crops in Consolidated Paddy Fields in Northern Iran
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 249; doi:10.3390/su8030249
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Subsurface drainage is a prerequisite to grow winter crops in the consolidated paddy fields in Northern Iran. A four-year study (2011–2015) was conducted to quantify the effects of subsurface drainage on the saturated hydraulic conductivity, water table, drain discharge and winter crop yields.
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Subsurface drainage is a prerequisite to grow winter crops in the consolidated paddy fields in Northern Iran. A four-year study (2011–2015) was conducted to quantify the effects of subsurface drainage on the saturated hydraulic conductivity, water table, drain discharge and winter crop yields. Subsurface drainage systems with two drain depths of 0.65 and 0.90 m and two drain spacings of 15 and 30 m were installed at the consolidated paddy fields of Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran. During four successive winter seasons, the water table depth and drain discharge were measured daily. Soil saturated hydraulic conductivity was measured twice; before drainage system installation and four years following the installation. Canola grain yields were determined at harvest of each cultivation season. During the study period, the soil saturated hydraulic conductivity increased with the highest increase in the top 0–30 cm. The deeper drains were more effective in controlling the water table compared to the shallow, and the daily drain discharge of the deeper drains in the fourth year were higher than those of shallow drains. The canola grain yield of all drainage systems increased significantly by the seasons, and the largest difference in canola grain yield between first and fourth seasons was 2191 kg·ha−1 (318% increase) in the fields with 0.90 m drain depth and 30 m drain spacing. Totally, it became clear that installation of subsurface drainage systems with 0.90 m depth and 30 m spacing in the paddy fields of Northern Iran can be recommended to achieve high yield of winter crop, soil condition improvement, and multi-purpose land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Regional Irrigation Water Demand and Supply in an Arid Inland River Basin of Northwestern China
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12958-12973; doi:10.3390/su70912958
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 30 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1652 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irrigation water demand accounts for more than 95% of the total water use in the Kaidu-kongqi River Basin. Determination of the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand is important for making sustainable and wise water management strategies in this highly water
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Irrigation water demand accounts for more than 95% of the total water use in the Kaidu-kongqi River Basin. Determination of the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand is important for making sustainable and wise water management strategies in this highly water deficit region. In this study, the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand as well as net crop irrigation water requirements for nine major crops during 1985–2009 were analyzed by combining the Penman-Monteith equation recommended by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and GIS technology. The regional water stress was also evaluated based on the total irrigation water demand and river discharge at the annual and monthly scales. The results indicated that the annual irrigation water demand in this arid region showed a significant increasing trend during the past 25 years. Total irrigation water demand increased from 14.68 × 108 m3 in 1985 to 34.15 × 108 m3 in 2009. The spatial pattern of total irrigation water demand was significantly affected by the changes in cotton growing area. Due to differences in crop planting structure, the monthly average irrigation water demands in Korla City and Yuli County amounted to the peak in July, while those in other regions reached the maximum in June. Although the annual river runoff was much larger than the irrigation water demand, there was serious water deficit during the critical water use period in May and June in some dry years. The presented study provides important information for managers and planners on sustainable use of water resources in this arid region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Water Table Control for Increasing Yield and Saving Water in Cranberry Production
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10602-10619; doi:10.3390/su70810602
Received: 20 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water table control has been successfully tested to improve the sustainability of water management in cranberry production. In the province of Québec (Canada), three sites were investigated to determine the optimum water table depth below soil surface (WTD) using three criteria: (1) increasing
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Water table control has been successfully tested to improve the sustainability of water management in cranberry production. In the province of Québec (Canada), three sites were investigated to determine the optimum water table depth below soil surface (WTD) using three criteria: (1) increasing yield without decreasing fruit quality; (2) minimizing the amount of water needed by the sprinkler system; and (3) avoiding hypoxic stresses in the rhizosphere. Our results show that the final yield, the berry sugar content, the total number of berries, the number of berries per upright, and the fruit set were maximized when the WTD was 60 cm. Sprinkler water savings of 77% were obtained where the WTD was shallower than 66 cm. In order to avoid hypoxic conditions due to poor drainage, the water level in the canals surrounding the beds should be lowered to 80 cm when a rainfall or a frost protection irrigation is anticipated. All sides of a block of beds must be surrounded by canals to ensure a uniform WTD and to avoid lateral hydraulic gradients that could cause peripheral seepage losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Planning an Agricultural Water Resources Management System: A Two-Stage Stochastic Fractional Programming Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9846-9863; doi:10.3390/su7089846
Received: 21 May 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irrigation water management is crucial for agricultural production and livelihood security in many regions and countries throughout the world. In this study, a two-stage stochastic fractional programming (TSFP) method is developed for planning an agricultural water resources management system under uncertainty. TSFP can
[...] Read more.
Irrigation water management is crucial for agricultural production and livelihood security in many regions and countries throughout the world. In this study, a two-stage stochastic fractional programming (TSFP) method is developed for planning an agricultural water resources management system under uncertainty. TSFP can provide an effective linkage between conflicting economic benefits and the associated penalties; it can also balance conflicting objectives and maximize the system marginal benefit with per unit of input under uncertainty. The developed TSFP method is applied to a real case of agricultural water resources management of the Zhangweinan River Basin China, which is one of the main food and cotton producing regions in north China and faces serious water shortage. The results demonstrate that the TSFP model is advantageous in balancing conflicting objectives and reflecting complicated relationships among multiple system factors. Results also indicate that, under the optimized irrigation target, the optimized water allocation rate of Minyou Channel and Zhangnan Channel are 57.3% and 42.7%, respectively, which adapts the changes in the actual agricultural water resources management problem. Compared with the inexact two-stage water management (ITSP) method, TSFP could more effectively address the sustainable water management problem, provide more information regarding tradeoffs between multiple input factors and system benefits, and help the water managers maintain sustainable water resources development of the Zhangweinan River Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
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