Efficient Utilization and Conservation of Agricultural Water and Soil Resources

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2023) | Viewed by 4432

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Interests: water use efficiency; deficit irrigation; climate change; crop modeling; drought; irrigation scheduling; evapotranspiration; soil infiltration parameters; soil water status; water resources
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Texas Water Resources Institute, College Station, TX, USA
Interests: irrigation; droughts; precision agriculture; climate change adaptation; spatial crop modeling
Institute of Water Saving Agriculture in Arid Areas of China, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Interests: soil moisture content; irrigation schedule; crop water stress index; agricultural water and soil management; crop modeling and adaption to the climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Given the growing population and the limited availability of arable land and water resources, there is an urgent need to increase crop productivity through the sustainable use of water resources in agriculture. Higher crop yields have previously been derived from breeding high-yielding, N-responsive and water-efficient cultivars. However, in the present food production and irrigated agriculture systems, crop yield is limited more by the availability of nutrients and water resources than other factors. Thus, the yield gap between actual and maximum attainable yield is a critical factor that generally relates to the crop management practices, especially those involving water and soil resources.

Water scarcity and the competition between agricultural and non-agricultural water users has increased the need to explored new water management techniques at the farm level to enhance crop water productivity. Improvement in crop water productivity can be achieved through novel irrigation management approaches, such as deficit and regulated deficit irrigation. These approaches require accurate estimation of potential crop evapotranspiration (ETc), which is difficult to compute accurately without advanced sensors and computer models to simulate crop growth and evapotranspiration partitioning. Additionally, water management influences fertilizer/nitrogen use efficiency, thus affecting crop production, productivity, quality and GHGs emissions of agricultural landscape.

Therefore, it is necessary to develop solutions for efficient utilization of agriculture water resources to improve crop water productivity. One such approach is to apply deficit irrigation and regulated deficit irrigation for better utilization of limited agriculture water resources. The proposed Special Issue will investigate how water productivity may be improved under different climate conditions and address the general objective of efficient utilization of agricultural water resources for climate change adaptation/mitigation and resource use efficiency. The specific objectives are:

  • To formulate deficit irrigation strategies for improved water productivity. 
  • To evaluate the combination of deficit irrigation and fertilizer treatment to improve the agriculture water productivity under limited water availability.
  • To expand the results to different soil types and climatic conditions using a crop growth modeling approach.

Dr. Qaisar Saddique
Dr. Ali Ajaz
Dr. Yufeng Zou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • water use efficiency
  • deficit irrigation
  • climate change
  • spatial crop modeling
  • drought
  • irrigation scheduling
  • soil infiltration parameters
  • soil water status
  • precision agriculture

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 4474 KiB  
Article
Study on the Evaporation Suppression Efficiency and Optimal Diameter of Plain Reservoirs Covered by EPS Floating Balls in Arid Areas
by Buzhi Wang, Kebin Shi, Guangliang Zhang, Siyuan Xu and Jiangtao Wang
Water 2023, 15(6), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061047 - 9 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Current research on the evaporation inhibition effect of polyethylene (PE) floats has been relatively comprehensive, and the cost is relatively high when it is arranged in remote mountainous areas. In order to find a more economical anti-evaporation material, five kinds of solid expanded [...] Read more.
Current research on the evaporation inhibition effect of polyethylene (PE) floats has been relatively comprehensive, and the cost is relatively high when it is arranged in remote mountainous areas. In order to find a more economical anti-evaporation material, five kinds of solid expanded polystyrene (EPS) floating balls with different diameters of 10 mm, 40 mm, 80 mm, 120 mm and 150 mm were selected to study the evaporation suppression efficiency (ESE) of EPS floating balls on the evaporation of reservoir water surfaces in arid areas. The outdoor evaporator test and the wind wave test in the reservoir area were carried out. Combined with various meteorological data, the evaporation inhibition rates of EPS floating balls with different diameters during a non-freezing period were calculated. The durability, seepage prevention, wind resistance, frost resistance, aging resistance and other properties of EPS were observed under different climatic conditions. In the evaporator test, the relationship between the diameter of the floating balls and the ESE was not a single function. The ESE of floating balls with a diameter of 40 mm was the highest, at 76.31%. In the wind wave test in the reservoir area, the ESE of the 10 mm floating balls was the lowest, at 34.79%, and the ESEs of the other four diameters of EPS floating balls were above 85% and positively related to the diameter of the floating balls. The test further improved the selection scheme for the diameter of the anti-evaporation floating balls, provided a reference for the practical application of EPS floating balls in future water-saving projects in the reservoir area, and enriched the content of water-saving projects for plain reservoirs in arid areas. Full article
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13 pages, 2145 KiB  
Article
Role of Gypsum in Conserving Soil Moisture Macronutrients Uptake and Improving Wheat Yield in the Rainfed Area
by Fakher Abbas, Tariq Siddique, Ruqin Fan and Muhammad Azeem
Water 2023, 15(6), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061011 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2185
Abstract
Agricultural rainfed areas of Pakistan have been facing several issues in recent years, e.g., soil erosion, nutrient runoff, and soil dependency on rainfall for crop growth. Wheat is considered a major staple crop in Pakistan. The main concern in these regions is to [...] Read more.
Agricultural rainfed areas of Pakistan have been facing several issues in recent years, e.g., soil erosion, nutrient runoff, and soil dependency on rainfall for crop growth. Wheat is considered a major staple crop in Pakistan. The main concern in these regions is to conserve soil moisture as the crop depends on the moisture obtained by rainfall. Gypsum is considered one of the best moisture conservers, especially for rainfed areas. Hence, this study was initiated (1) to explore the effects of gypsum on soil moisture conservation and (2) to reveal the effects of gypsum on soil macronutrients, sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) uptake, and, eventually, wheat yield. The study was conducted from July 2014 to April 2015 in the rainfed Pothohar region of Pakistan. The recommended mineral fertilizers (N120P80K60) along with the following gypsum treatments: T1 = gypsum @ 0 Mg ha−1 (0 kg plot−1), T2 = gypsum @ 1 Mg ha−1 (0.6 kg plot−1), T3 = gypsum @ 3 Mg ha−1 (1.8 kg plot−1), and T4 = gypsum @ 4 Mg ha−1 (2.4 kg plot−1) were applied. The Chakwal-50 wheat variety was sown, followed by gypsum application. The maximum moisture was recorded under the soil of treatment T4 each month. The soil moisture was conserved up to 21% (surface) and 23% (sub-surface) in January and February 2015, respectively, with a 4 Mg ha−1 gypsum application. The highest nitrogen (N, 448.68 kg ha−1), phosphorus (P, 50.6 kg ha−1), potassium (K, 185.7 Kg ha−1), sulfur (S, 9.75 kg ha−1), and calcium (Ca, 35.5 kg ha−1) uptake values were observed in treatment with a 3 Mg ha−1 gypsum application (p < 0.05). The mean values of the grain yield ranged between 1903.4 (T1) and 2387.2 (T4) kg ha−1. Compared with the yield under T1, the grain yields under treatment T2, T3, and T4 were increased by 11%, 24%, and 25%, respectively. The straw yield ranged between 2446 and 2767 kg ha−1. There was no noticeable impact of gypsum application rates on the straw yield of the wheat crop (p > 0.05). Overall, treatment T3 was found to be optimal for conserving soil moisture, a better nutrient uptake, and, ultimately, the wheat crop yield with less input cost. Full article
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