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Water 2018, 10(9), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091168

Evolution of Crop Water Productivity in the Nile Delta over Three Decades (1985–2015)

1
Soils, Water & Environment Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza 12112, Egypt
2
Agricultural Engineering Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagazig, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
3
International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Cairo 2416, Egypt
4
Irrigation and Hydraulics Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Giza 12613, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
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Abstract

Estimating crop water productivity (CWP) for spatially variable climatic conditions in Egypt is important for the redistribution of crop planting to optimize production per unit of water consumed. The current paper aims to estimate maximum CWP trends under conditions of the Northern Nile Delta over three decades to choose crops that exhibit a higher productivity per unit of water and positive trends in the CWP. The Kafr El Sheikh Governorate was selected to represent the Northern Nile Delta Region, and mean monthly weather data for the period of 1985 to 2015 were collected to calculate standardized reference evapotranspiration and crop water use for a wide array of crops grown in the region using the CROPWAT8.0 model. The CWP was then calculated by dividing crop yield by seasonal water consumption. The CWP data range from 0.69 to 13.79 kg·m−3 for winter field crops, 3.40 to 10.69 kg·m−3 for winter vegetables, 0.29 to 6.04 kg·m−3 for summer field crops, 2.38 to 7.65 kg·m−3 for summer vegetables, 1.00 to 5.38 kg·m−3 for nili season crops (short-season post summer), and 0.66 to 3.35 kg·m−3 for orchards. The crops with the highest CWP values (kg·m−3) over three decades in descending order are: sugar beet (13.79), potato (w2) (10.69), tomato (w) (10.58), eggplant (w) (10.05), potato (w1) (9.98), cucumber (w) (9.81), and cabbage (w) (9.59). There was an increase in CWP of 41% from the first to the second and 22% from the second to the third decade. The CWP increase is attributed to a small decrease in water consumption and to a considerable increase in crop yield. The yield increases are attributed mainly to the planting of higher yielding varieties and/or the application of better agronomic practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: CROPWAT8.0; crop yield; evapotranspiration; crop pattern planning; irrigation; climate CROPWAT8.0; crop yield; evapotranspiration; crop pattern planning; irrigation; climate
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M. El-Marsafawy, S.; Swelam, A.; Ghanem, A. Evolution of Crop Water Productivity in the Nile Delta over Three Decades (1985–2015). Water 2018, 10, 1168.

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