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Special Issue "Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture: Crop Water Relations, Soil Management and Smart Irrigation"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Guy Roth

The University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil moisture monitoring, cotton, farming systems, irrigation scheduling; plant sensing, canopy temperature, farmer practice.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Irrigation is a large user of water. Water scarcity is a major factor limiting agricultural productivity. There are complex interactions between water, energy costs, labour needs, nutrient use, crop agronomy, soils, salinity and the water balance that need to be better understood. New knowledge, new technologies and adoption of current knowledge by farmers and advisers is crucial to achieving long-term continuing improvement. Smarter irrigation is essential for the future.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Guy Roth
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.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 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
  • crop
  • soil
  • automation
  • scheduling
  • farmer

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Leaf Gas Exchange, Plant Water Relations and Water Use Efficiency of Vigna Unguiculata L. Walp. Inoculated with Rhizobia under Different Soil Water Regimes
Water 2019, 11(3), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030498
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 9 March 2019
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Abstract
Impact of soil water regimes on physiological responses and water use efficiency (WUE) for Vigna unguiculata L. Walp. (cowpea) inoculated with rhizobia still remains implicit. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to examine the leaf gas exchange, abscisic acid (ABA) and [...] Read more.
Impact of soil water regimes on physiological responses and water use efficiency (WUE) for Vigna unguiculata L. Walp. (cowpea) inoculated with rhizobia still remains implicit. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to examine the leaf gas exchange, abscisic acid (ABA) and hydraulic signaling, WUE and carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions (δ13C and δ18O) of cowpea under different soil water levels. The treatments included soil water regimes at three levels (90%, 70%, and 50% of soil water holding capacity (SWHC)) and two inoculation forms (inoculated and non-inoculated with rhizobia). The results showed that across the inoculation treatments, reduced soil water regimes depressed both stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthesis (An) of the leaves, nonetheless, the decrease of gs was more pronounced compared with the reduction in An. Consequently, the intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) was improved in the treatments under decreased soil water conditions. Plant WUE was also improved when soil water contents decreased as exemplified by the increased leaf δ13C and δ18O, indicating the enhanced plant WUE was mainly attributed to the decrease of gs. Significant interactions between soil water regimes and rhizobia treatments for root water potential (RWP), leaf water potential (LWP), and gs were found due to the different responses of rhizobia to varied soil water regimes. Inoculation could improve plant water status and gs under 70% and 90% SWHC compared to 50% SWHC with negative effect from rhizobia. A moderate soil water regime is suggested for cowpea production in terms of high WUE with a minor biomass reduction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Characteristics and Implications of Grey Water Footprint of Major Food Crops in China
Water 2019, 11(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020220
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
The estimated, effective increase of agricultural fertilizer applied in China by 10.57 Mts from 2006 to 2016 is a crucial factor affecting the water environment. Based on analyzing the nitrate-leaching rate, the nitrogen-fertilizer application rate, and crop yield in wheat and maize key [...] Read more.
The estimated, effective increase of agricultural fertilizer applied in China by 10.57 Mts from 2006 to 2016 is a crucial factor affecting the water environment. Based on analyzing the nitrate-leaching rate, the nitrogen-fertilizer application rate, and crop yield in wheat and maize key cultivation divisions in China, this paper applied the grey water footprint analytical method to estimate THE grey water footprint and its proportion to total water footprint and analyzed the spatial differences from 2012 to 2016. Results showed that the grey water footprint of wheat was higher in North and Northwest China with an increasing trend, while that of maize was higher in Southwest and Northwest China because of high nitrogen application rates and low yields in these regions. Except for the Southwestern division, wheat’s grey water footprint was about 1.3 times higher than the blue water footprint, while, for maize, it was two to three times higher. When analyzing and planning water demand for crop irrigation, the water required for nonpoint source pollution due to chemical fertilizers should be considered. Focusing blue water (irrigation) alone, while neglecting green water and ignoring grey water footprints, it might lead to overestimation of available agricultural water resources and failure to meet the goals of sustainable use of water resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Law of Nitrogen Transfer and Conversion and Use of Fertilizer Nitrogen in Paddy Fields under Water-Saving Irrigation Mode
Water 2019, 11(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020218
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
The research on the effect of water-saving irrigation technology on the loss of nutrients and chemical substances in farmland has become a hot issue in the field of agricultural water and soil. Based on comparative experiments and combined with the isotope N15 [...] Read more.
The research on the effect of water-saving irrigation technology on the loss of nutrients and chemical substances in farmland has become a hot issue in the field of agricultural water and soil. Based on comparative experiments and combined with the isotope N15 tracer technique, the mechanism of nitrogen migration and transformation and the trend of fertilizer nitrogen use under different irrigation modes were studied. The results showed that water-saving irrigation modes (thin and wet irrigation W1 and intermittent irrigation W2) could reduce the NO3-N leaching loss by reducing the water leakage amount and the NO3-N concentration, and effectively inhibit the leaching loss of fertilizer nitrogen. Compared with conventional irrigation (W0), the leaching loss amount of fertilizer nitrogen in W1 and W2 decreased by 62% and 64%, respectively. Under the same amount of fertilizer, water-saving irrigation mode can significantly reduce the total amount of ammonia (NH3) volatilization and the proportion of NH3 volatilization of fertilizer nitrogen in total NH3 volatilization, and significantly increase the nitrogen uptake of rice plants. Meanwhile, water-saving irrigation mode can increase the total nitrogen content of paddy soil by 14.0% but reduce the residual rate of fertilizer nitrogen in soil by 14.6%. Moreover, crop nitrogen uptake can be significantly increased under water-saving irrigation. Compared with W0, the nitrogen fertilizer use rate of W1 and W2 increased by 5.0% and 9.7%, respectively. The research results can provide an important basis for controlling agricultural non-point source pollution, curbing the decline of soil fertility and deterioration of soil quality in paddy fields. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Smart Irrigation Tool to Determine the Effects of ENSO on Water Requirements for Tomato Production in Mozambique
Water 2018, 10(12), 1820; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121820
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
Irrigation scheduling is used by growers to determine the right amount and timing of water application. In most parts of Mozambique, 90% of the total yearly precipitation occurs from November to March. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon influences the climate in [...] Read more.
Irrigation scheduling is used by growers to determine the right amount and timing of water application. In most parts of Mozambique, 90% of the total yearly precipitation occurs from November to March. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon influences the climate in Mozambique and affects the water demand for crop production. The objectives of this work were to quantify the effects of ENSO phenomenon on tomato crop water requirements, and to create the AgroClimate irrigation tool (http://mz.agroclimate.org/) to assist farmers in improving irrigation management. This study was based on daily grid-based climate information from 1983 to 2016 from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis. Daily crop evapotranspiration was calculated by Hargreaves equation and crop coefficients. This tool is available online and considers different planting dates, ENSO phases, and crop growing season lengths. Irrigation needs varied from less than 250 mm per growing cycle during winter to 550 mm during spring. Both El Niño and La Niña influenced the irrigation scheduling, especially from November to March. El Niño periods were related to increased water demand due to drier and warmer conditions, while the opposite was observed for La Niña. The ENSO information might be used to understand climate variability and improve tomato irrigation scheduling in Mozambique. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Response of Physiological Indicators to Environmental Factors under Water Level Regulation of Paddy Fields in Southern China
Water 2018, 10(12), 1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121772
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agricultural water level control is the key to the combined control of water-saving irrigation and controlled drainage. It is easy to observe and master in farmland practice, and has important theoretical and practical significance. In this paper, a systematic study on stomatal regulation [...] Read more.
Agricultural water level control is the key to the combined control of water-saving irrigation and controlled drainage. It is easy to observe and master in farmland practice, and has important theoretical and practical significance. In this paper, a systematic study on stomatal regulation and photosynthetic-evapotranspiration coupling mechanism, as well as the effect of meteorological environmental factors on photosynthetic-evapotranspiration coupling mechanism of paddy rice in drought and flooding conditions was conducted by taking paddy field’s water level as a regulation indicator of paddy rice’s irrigation and drainage. Results showed that net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and evapotranspiration rate (Tr) had quadratic and linear relationship with stomatal conductance (Gs), respectively. The responding range of Gs in drought condition was lower than that in flooding condition. Drought stress aggravated the photosynthetic stomatal limitation of rice leaves at noon, and partial closure of stomata was the main reason resulting in the reduction of Pn suffering from drought at noon. Change curve of paddy rice’s leaf temperature difference (ΔT) showed a W or V type daily change curve and its change rule was rightly contrary to that of Tr. Pn had quadratic curve relationships with photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and surrounding CO2 concentration (Cs) both in the morning and in the afternoon, Pn had quadratic curve relationships in the morning and linear relationships in the afternoon with air temperature (Ta), respectively. Tr showed linear relationships with PAR, Ta, relative air humidity (RH) and barometric pressure saturation deficit (VPD). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Identification of Factors Affecting the Use of Pressurized Irrigation Systems by Farmers in Iran
Water 2018, 10(11), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111532
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
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Abstract
Climate change and water scarcity are the most important challenges of the agricultural sector, and pressurized irrigation systems (PISs) are one of the most significant ways to improve agricultural water productivity. The main purpose of this research was to identify the factors affecting [...] Read more.
Climate change and water scarcity are the most important challenges of the agricultural sector, and pressurized irrigation systems (PISs) are one of the most significant ways to improve agricultural water productivity. The main purpose of this research was to identify the factors affecting the use of PISs by farmers. The statistical research population was a total of 2396 Iranian model farmers. The Cochran formula was used to determine the number of statistical samples. Accordingly, this comprised 331 people. The methodology of the study was mixed method research. The structural equation modeling technique, Mann–Whitney U, and Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to test the hypotheses. The results showed that the personal characteristics, tendency, attitude, self-efficacy, subjective norms, governmental support, environmental tensions, and technological features were the most important factors which influenced the farmers. It was found that all of these variables had a positive and significant relationship with the using of PISs by farmers, and they were able to predict 52% of the behavioral changes (R2) of the farmers. Among these variables, the attitude, with a path coefficient (β) of 0.48, had the highest impact on the using of PISs by the farmers. Full article
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