Special Issue "Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Use and Scarcity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. José Roldán-Cañas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Hydraulic Engineering, Department of Agronomy, University of Córdoba, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Interests: irrigation engineering; drip irrigation; use of reclaimed urban wastewater and desalinated water in drip irrigation; ancestral irrigations; surface irrigation; stochastic models of daily precipitation; rain interception
Prof. Dr. María Fátima Moreno-Pérez
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Associate Professor of Hydraulic Engineering, Department of Agronomy, University of Córdoba, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Interests: irrigation engineering; use of reclaimed urban wastewater and desalinated water in drip irrigation; ancestral irrigations; stochastic models of daily precipitation; rain interception

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on irrigation in arid and semiarid environments has mainly been aimed at reducing crop water consumption. However, in recent years, approaches aimed at reducing crop water requirements have significantly changed. Remote sensing with satellites or unmanned vehicles, and vegetation spectral measurements, among others, in fact represent the newest frontier of existing technologies.

The so-called modernization of irrigation systems, mainly directed at shifting surface irrigation to pressurized irrigation, has meant a significant increase in energy demand. The energy cost has so far not been considered in the cost of farmers, so exploring new energy sources, especially renewable ones like wind and solar radiation, has become a major goal for researchers in irrigation.

Alternative water sources (regenerated urban water and desalinated water) are necessary given the scarcity of conventional resources, but their influence on the soil and the crop itself should be considered before they can be adopted and generalized. As if that were not enough, some external factors such as the threat of climate change or ups and downs of agricultural policies, in particular European agricultural policy, significantly affect the water needs of crops, sometimes with opposite effects on water consumption, which seems to increase in the first case and to reduce in the second.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to report, in more detail, research of water resources management in the frame of sustainable development.

Prof. Dr. José Roldán-Cañas
Prof. Dr. María Fátima Moreno-Pérez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • water scarcity
  • alternative water sources
  • climate change
  • agricultural policies
  • remote sensing
  • modernization of irrigation systems
  • renewable energy sources
  • sustainable development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Study of the Wet Bulb in Stratified Soils (Sand-Covered Soil) in Intensive Greenhouse Agriculture under Drip Irrigation by Calibrating the Hydrus-3D Model
Water 2021, 13(5), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050600 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
The development of the wet bulb under drip irrigation in sand-covered soils presents a different behavior compared to the one observed in homogeneous soils. Moreover, the presence of a very active crop imposes a series of variations that have not been fully characterized. [...] Read more.
The development of the wet bulb under drip irrigation in sand-covered soils presents a different behavior compared to the one observed in homogeneous soils. Moreover, the presence of a very active crop imposes a series of variations that have not been fully characterized. The aim of this work is to present the data acquisition methodology to calibrate and validate the Hydrus-3D model in order to safely define the evolution of moisture in wet bulbs generated in stratified “sanded” soils characteristic of greenhouses with intensive pepper crop under drip irrigation. The procedure for collecting and processing moisture data in stratified soils has been defined. Soil permeability; retention curve, texture, and bulk density have been measured experimentally for each material. It has been found that the inclusion of a previous day in the simulation improves model predictions of soil moisture distribution. In soils with less gravel, a lower average stress and a more homogeneous moisture distribution were observed. It has been proved that the Hydrus-3D model can reproduce the behavior of sand covered soils under intensive greenhouse growing conditions, and it has been possible to verify that the predictions are adequate to what has been observed in the field. In view of the results, the Hydrus-3D model could be used to establish future irrigation strategies or to locate the optimal placement point of tensiometers that control irrigation in sandy soils for intensive agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
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Article
Comparison of Multicriteria Decision-Making Techniques for Groundwater Recharge Potential Zonation: Case Study of the Willochra Basin, South Australia
Water 2021, 13(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040525 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
In semi-arid regions, groundwater resources play a crucial role in all economic, environmental, and social processes. However, the occurrence, movement, and recharge of these hidden and valuable resources vary from place to place. Therefore, better management practices and mapping of groundwater recharge potential [...] Read more.
In semi-arid regions, groundwater resources play a crucial role in all economic, environmental, and social processes. However, the occurrence, movement, and recharge of these hidden and valuable resources vary from place to place. Therefore, better management practices and mapping of groundwater recharge potential zones are needed for the sustainable groundwater resources. For an example, groundwater resources in Willochra Basin are vitally important for drinking, irrigation, and stock use. This study shows the significance of the application of three decision-making approaches, including multi-influencing factor, analytical hierarchy process, and frequency ratio techniques in the identification of groundwater potential zones. A total of seven criteria, including lithology, slope, soil texture, land-use, rainfall, drainage density, and lineament density, were extracted from conventional and remote sensing data sources. The parameters and their assigned weights were integrated using Geographic Information System (GIS) software to generate recharge potential maps. The resultant maps were evaluated using the area under the curve method. The results showed that the southern regions of the Willochra Basin are more promising for groundwater recharge potential. The map produced using the frequency ratio model was the most efficient (84%), followed by the multi-influencing factor model (70%) and then the analytical hierarchy process technique (62%). The area under the curve method agreed when evaluated using published weights and rating values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
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Article
Distribution Uniformity in Intensive Horticultural Systems of Almería and Influence of the Production System and Water Quality
Water 2021, 13(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020233 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
The high productivity and efficiency of the use of irrigation water that characterizes greenhouse horticultural crops can be affected by poor irrigation distribution uniformity. The objective of this work was to estimate the average irrigation distribution uniformity (DU) of the greenhouses in Almería, [...] Read more.
The high productivity and efficiency of the use of irrigation water that characterizes greenhouse horticultural crops can be affected by poor irrigation distribution uniformity. The objective of this work was to estimate the average irrigation distribution uniformity (DU) of the greenhouses in Almería, determining the influence of the irrigation water quality as well as the production system on this uniformity. A prospective study was carried out in which commercial farms were selected that used different water qualities (groundwater vs. reclaimed) with different production systems (organic vs. conventional/integrated). The average irrigation distribution uniformity in the greenhouses of Almería was 80%. The farms with organic production systems presented a drastic DU reduction with respect to conventional farms (48% vs. 88%). The DU of the irrigation water presented in commercial farms irrigated with reclaimed water presented a lower DU than those irrigated with groundwater (76% vs. 86%). The distribution of irrigation depth of water in the greenhouses showed slight variations (from 3.2 to 2.9 mm) depending on the emitter position, with the highest values being at the head of the sub-main pipe and dripper line and the lowest at the end of the sub-main pipe and dripper line. The depth of water values was very close to the theoretical average of 3 mm. Water quality affects the distribution pattern of the depth of water in greenhouses. Installations irrigated with reclaimed water showed greater oscillation of the water depth within the sub-unit, varying from 3.6 to 2.0 mm, although the average depth was located close to the theoretical depth (3 mm). The production system affected the distribution of the depth of water—in the organic system, the depth underwent greater variation depending on the position of the emitter in the sub-unit, ranging from 1.7 to 3.3 mm. In addition, within this production system, the median depth of water was close to 2.5 mm, lower than the theoretical depth (3 mm), which denoted a certain generalized filling that was accentuated at the end of the dripper line and sub-main pipe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
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Article
Groundwater Sustainability Strategies in the Sierra de Gador-Campo de Dalias System, Southeast Spain
Water 2020, 12(11), 3262; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113262 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 543
Abstract
Maintaining sustainable development in semi-arid regions is a complex task due to scarce precipitation, with notable temporal and spatial variations that complicate planning and proper management of water resources. Most of the water extractions from the aquifers in southeast Spain are carried out [...] Read more.
Maintaining sustainable development in semi-arid regions is a complex task due to scarce precipitation, with notable temporal and spatial variations that complicate planning and proper management of water resources. Most of the water extractions from the aquifers in southeast Spain are carried out to supply a growing agricultural sector and increasingly successful tourism, which is the case of the Sierra de Gador-Campo de Dalias system. Savings, reutilization and awareness among water users are essential elements in any sustainable water policy. Some of the possible solutions proposed that offer low environmental impacts include certain infrastructure works, such as dams, ditches or recharge in gravel pits. Also, desalinization plants constitute a technical alternative in theory but involve high costs. The integration of all these resources, together with their proper management, is necessary to ensure the future water supply and economic growth in the region, safeguarding the state of its aquifers that are currently intensely overexploited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
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Article
Rainwater Harvesting Techniques to Face Water Scarcity in African Drylands: Hydrological Efficiency Assessment
Water 2020, 12(9), 2646; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092646 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The sub-Saharan climate is experiencing a marked increase in temperature and intensification of precipitation intensity and variability. Besides, longer dry spells are compromising the reliability of local agricultural practices. The present study provides a comprehensive investigation about the benefits induced by using indigenous [...] Read more.
The sub-Saharan climate is experiencing a marked increase in temperature and intensification of precipitation intensity and variability. Besides, longer dry spells are compromising the reliability of local agricultural practices. The present study provides a comprehensive investigation about the benefits induced by using indigenous rainwater harvesting techniques (RWHT) against hydrometeorological threats affecting the Sahelian areas. Different RWHT have been tested in term of runoff retention, infiltration increase into the root zone, and soil water stress mitigation. To achieve these purposes, hydrological processes at the field scale have been investigated using a two-dimensional distributed hydrological model. To make the study representative of the whole Sahelian areas, several simulations were carried out adopting a wide range of input parameters based on conventional values of those areas. The results reveal that RWHT may lead to a runoff retention up to 87% and to double the infiltration. Intercepting and storing runoff, RWHT increase the water content in the root zone and the right design can diminish the crop water stress. Furthermore, the results show that adopting RWHT makes it possible to extend the growing season up to 20 days, enhancing the yield. These benefits contribute to the reduction of the climate-related water stress and the prevention of crop failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Irrigation Management in Arid and Semiarid Zones)
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