2. Aspects of Local and Societal Conditions of Irrigation
2.1. Integrated Water Use Analyses
2.2. System-Oriented Characteristics of Irrigation
- Target-oriented: irrigation systems are used—like all sociotechnical systems—for the provision of certain products or services. The selection of products and services is based on the objectives and interests of those individuals and groups that have influence on the management of the irrigation system.
- Environmentally open: irrigation systems can be characterized as open systems, since the required processes of resource/service provision and resource transformation must take place in close exchange with the environment.
- Economic aspects: is an investment beneficial to the prosperity of a community? What economic value is provided in general?
- Irrigation techniques: what techniques are appropriate for a given local setting? How effective is the management structure (both irrigation systems and irrigation management, e.g., decision support tools)? Do the water use efficiency (WUE) and water productivity (WP) match the available resources?
- Sociocultural aspects: what are the consequences of an irrigation intervention for a community? Is there willingness and ability among farmers to introduce new technologies?
- Ecological requirements: what are the environmental flow conditions (e.g., minimal required discharge in a river)? What environmental services in a catchment have to be maintained?
- Administrative aspects: what authorities or institutions are in charge of water distribution and control at the time of investigation? Do water boards exist?
- Legal aspects: what water rights exist? Who possesses ownership of the land? What general legislation exists? What is the status of land ownership?
2.3. Irrigation Management—Resource Utilization
- integrated management of water resources;
- improvement and safeguarding of water access;
- ensuring evidence-based water policy and management;
- understanding of the interaction of agriculture with the ecosystem;
- inclusion of all stakeholders and provision of transparent decisions;
- improvement of livelihoods and gender equality as pathways to poverty reduction.
3. Options for Agricultural Water Management and Resources Management
3.1. Improving Soil and Soil Water Conditions
- “Soil water is the most active link in the interchange of continental waters,
- Soil water is an element of the global climatic system (owing to its location at the atmosphere-lithosphere interface, soil water notably contributes to the formation of climate),
- Soil water is the most important factor governing the existence and development of the vegetation cover, which is the basic link in the trophic chain of land ecosystem.”
- field management (tillage, plant selection, agricultural practise, etc.);
- the supply of inputs (nutrients, weed and disease control).
3.2. Water Application and Irrigation Systems
3.3. Deficit Irrigation
3.4. Water Banking
- aquifer storage and recovery (ASR);
- the assignment of an economic value to water storage.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Surface irrigation||Application of water to the soil surface by gravity|
|Basin irrigation||Levelled or nearly levelled fields surrounded by bunds||Rectangular shape or contour basins|
|Border irrigation||Sloped fields divided into strips by parallel bunds||Alternative term: border strip|
|Furrow irrigation||Levelled or sloped fields with the surface prepared as furrows and dams||Corrugation: special form where small channels guide the water across a field|
|Flood irrigation||Fields without flow controls such as furrows or borders||Alternative term: wild flooding|
|Spate irrigation||Water from seasonal floods is bypassed and conveyed to fields||Unique to some arid and semi-arid regions|
|Sprinkler irrigation||Application of water onto the crop via a system of sprinkler nozzles with water delivered by pipelines under pressure|
|Periodic-move sprinkler systems||Portable quick-coupling laterals or hose reels that can be moved from one location to another||E.g., hand-move laterals, side-roll laterals, traveling gun, traveling boom|
|Fixed sprinkler systems||A network with enough pipes and sprinkler heads to complete irrigation in one place||Either with solid-set portable laterals (removed before harvest) or permanent laterals (buried)|
|Continuous-move sprinkler systems||Motorized laterals with sprinklers that irrigate and continuously move at the same time||Centre pivot|
Linear moving systems
|Micro-irrigation||Application of water (low volume and low pressure) on or beneath the soil surface by drip emitters or spray systems|
|Drip lines||Surface or subsurface laterals (lay-flat, flexible, or semirigid tubing) with uniformly spaced point-source emitters||Emitters with pressure-compensating hydraulic microstructures|
|Sprayers or mini-sprinklers||Water is distributed via mini sprinklers in full or partial circle patterns of small diameters|
|Subirrigation||Application of water below the ground surface by raising the water table to the root zone or by using a buried perforated pipe system to apply water within the root zone (not to be confused with subsurface drip irrigation)|
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