Special Issue "Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management"

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 July 2022) | Viewed by 13584

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sara Álvarez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Horticultural and Woody Crops, Instituto Tecnológico Agrario de Castilla y León (ITACYL), Crta Burgos Km 119, 47071 Valladolid, Spain
Interests: deficit irrigation; plant physiology; ornamental plants; stress physiology; evapotranspiration; salinity; water relations; tree nut crops; intrinsic water use efficiency
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Romero-Trigueros
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
CEBAS- CSIC, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, Murcia, Spain
Interests: sustainable water management; deficit irrigation; reclaimed water; desalinated water; water relations; salinity and water stresses; plant physiology; agronomic parameters; isotopic discrimination; spectral and thermal data; citrus; olive; almond
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The conservation of water resources is a key aspect for the economic and environmental sustainability of all types of agricultural systems. Among all abiotic stresses, drought is the major constraint affecting plant physiological processes, causing huge production losses in agriculture. Water scarcity is very common in many areas of the world, and numerous studies deal with this topic, leading to the development of new irrigation strategies such as regulated deficit irrigation, partial root drying, and sustained deficit irrigation.

In this context, managing global water resources is one of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century, and there is a considerable pressure in agriculture to produce crops more efficiently by reducing water use. This knowledge is necessary to optimize a sustainable high-quality production without compromising the economic value of the crop, and thus, to propose best irrigation management practices.

This Special Issue aims at collecting original and quantitative studies dealing with any technique of irrigation management. Studies done in any type of crop (fruit trees species, forest, herbaceous, horticultural or ornamental crops) and under field or controlled environmental conditions are welcome. Submissions on the following topics are invited: (1) Development of deficit irrigation strategies and quantifying irrigation requirements in the development stages; 2) determination of the minimum water level for acceptable quality; (3) understanding of morphological and physiological plant response to water management; (4) assessment of the indices performance to detect water stress; and (5) identification of tolerance mechanisms development by the species to water stress and evaluation their adaptability to such conditions. Manuscripts where the management of irrigation with low quality waters is evaluated are particularly welcome, as marginal waters are very often used in deficit irrigation strategies.

Dr. Sara Álvarez
Dr. Cristina Romero-Trigueros
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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

  • plant physiology
  • water quality
  • water resources management
  • environmental stresses
  • irrigation
  • water stress
  • drought
  • water use efficiency
  • evapotranspiration
  • abiotic stress tolerance

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Data to Detect Irrigation Events: Riaza Irrigation District (Spain) Case Study
Water 2022, 14(19), 3046; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193046 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
This paper investigates the use of high resolution (~100 m) surface soil moisture (SSM) maps to detect irrigation occurrences, in time and space. The SSM maps have been derived from time series of Copernicus Sentinel-1 (S-1) and Sentinel-2 (S-2) observations. The analysis focused [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the use of high resolution (~100 m) surface soil moisture (SSM) maps to detect irrigation occurrences, in time and space. The SSM maps have been derived from time series of Copernicus Sentinel-1 (S-1) and Sentinel-2 (S-2) observations. The analysis focused on the Riaza irrigation district in the Castilla y León region (Spain), where detailed information on land use, irrigation scheduling, water withdrawal, meteorology and parcel borders is available from 2017 to 2021. The well-documented data basis has supported a solid characterization of the sources of uncertainties affecting the use of SSM to map and monitor irrigation events. The main factors affecting the irrigation detection are meteo-climatic condition, crop type, water supply and spatial and temporal resolution of Earth observation data. Results indicate that approximately three-quarters of the fields irrigated within three days of the S-1 acquisition can be detected. The specific contribution of SSM to irrigation monitoring consists of (i) an early detection, well before vegetation indexes can even detect the presence of a crop, and (ii) the identification of the irrigation event in time, which remains unfeasible for vegetation indexes. Therefore, SSM can integrate vegetation indexes to resolve the irrigation occurrences in time and space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
The Influence of Precision Dripping Irrigation System on the Phenology and Yield Indices of Sweet Maize Hybrids
Water 2022, 14(16), 2480; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162480 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
Sweet maize is an annual plant that is extremely useful and economical for planting and harvesting. However, maize stands are damaged quickly in the case of nutrient and water deficiency. This research was carried out under dripping irrigation conditions and control plots without [...] Read more.
Sweet maize is an annual plant that is extremely useful and economical for planting and harvesting. However, maize stands are damaged quickly in the case of nutrient and water deficiency. This research was carried out under dripping irrigation conditions and control plots without irrigation, involving seven different maize hybrids. The obtained results showed no existing variation in the dry matter content of cob (DMC) between the irrigated and non-irrigated treatments. Correlation analysis showed that increasing DMC causes decreasing moisture content of cob (MC) of sweet maize with irrigated and non-irrigated treatments. DMC and MC are important factors in the yield index on irrigation treatments. Biplots showed that the Dessert R72 (10.82) hybrid had maximum yield and effect on Brix/Abbe and Brix/Atago Pal-1, while the Messenger hybrids (42.96) had maximum effect on MC. It was also shown that DMC and MC are important factors in the yield index on irrigation treatments on hybrids. The Noa (37.97) and Honey hybrids (27.88) had minimum effect and performance on non-irrigation and irrigation treatments. The Messenger (11.25) and SF1379 hybrids (10.5) had a maximum performance on Brix Abbe and Brix Pal in the irrigation treatment and Dessert R78 (13.5), the Messenger hybrid (11.8) had a maximum performance on Brix/Abbe and Brix/Atago Pal-1 in non-irrigation treatment. The Dessert R78 (13.5) is the best-performing hybrid in terms of the yield of Brix/Abbe and Brix/Atago Pal-1 in the performed irrigation treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
An Improved Empirical Model for Estimating the Geometry of the Soil Wetting Front with Surface Drip Irrigation
Water 2022, 14(11), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111827 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Wetting pattern geometry is useful in determining the spacing between emitters and the irrigation time in drip irrigation systems. This research aimed to generate an empirical model to estimate the width and depth of the wetting front in surface drip irrigation based on [...] Read more.
Wetting pattern geometry is useful in determining the spacing between emitters and the irrigation time in drip irrigation systems. This research aimed to generate an empirical model to estimate the width and depth of the wetting front in surface drip irrigation based on experimental tests in a cube-shaped container with transparent walls in soils with a sandy clay loam texture, with hydraulic conductivities from 2.316 to 3.945 cm h−1, and organic matter contents from 1.7 to 2.8%, and different irrigation conditions: discharge rates of 1.44, 2.90, 3.00, 3.75, and 4.00 L h−1, initial moisture levels between permanent wilting point and field capacity, and irrigation times from 0.58 to 9.50 h. The experimental conditions and the strategy for measuring the wetting front and soil moisture are detailed so the experiment is verifiable. The proposed model performed better than five other empirical models, with average values of 3 cm for the root mean square error and 0.88 for the Nash and Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient. The generated model is efficient and simple and can be a very useful tool for the design and operation of surface drip irrigation systems in soils with conditions similar to those of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Determining Economical Irrigation Depths in a Sandy Field Using a Combination of Weather Forecast and Numerical Simulation
Water 2021, 13(23), 3403; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13233403 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Advancement of modern technologies has given numerical simulations a crucial role to effectively manage irrigation. A new numerical scheme to determine irrigation depths was incorporated into WASH 2D, which is a numerical simulation model of crop response to irrigation. Based on two predicted [...] Read more.
Advancement of modern technologies has given numerical simulations a crucial role to effectively manage irrigation. A new numerical scheme to determine irrigation depths was incorporated into WASH 2D, which is a numerical simulation model of crop response to irrigation. Based on two predicted points of cumulative transpiration—water price and quantitative weather forecast—the scheme can optimize an irrigation depth in which net income is maximized. A field experiment was carried out at the Arid Land Research Center, Tottori, Japan, in 2019, to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme on net income and crop production compared to a tensiometer-based automated irrigation system. Sweetcorn (Zea mays L., Amaenbou 86) was grown in three water balance lysimeters per each treatment, filled with sandy soil. The scheme could achieve a 4% higher net income, due to a 7% increase in green fodder yield, and an 11% reduction in irrigation amount, compared with the automated irrigation method. These results indicate that the numerical scheme, in combination with quantitative weather forecasts, can be a useful tool to determine irrigation depths, maximize net incomes which are farmers’ targets, and avoid large investments that are required for the automated irrigation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Rootstock Effects on Water Relations of Young Almond Trees (cv. Soleta) When Subjected to Water Stress and Rehydration
Water 2020, 12(12), 3319; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123319 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Rootstocks with size controlling potential are being used in newly planted intensive almond orchards. Due to increased water scarcity, characterizing the response of these rootstocks to water deficit is required. The current work aims to assess whether the rootstock can improve their drought [...] Read more.
Rootstocks with size controlling potential are being used in newly planted intensive almond orchards. Due to increased water scarcity, characterizing the response of these rootstocks to water deficit is required. The current work aims to assess whether the rootstock can improve their drought tolerance. We investigated the morphological and physiological response of P. dulcis “Soleta” either self-rooted or grafted on Rootpac-20 rootstock. Plant responses were evaluated during a water stress period (withholding irrigation for 20 days) and subsequent recovery in potted plants under greenhouse conditions. Self-rooted plants had a higher capacity to control vigour than plants grafted onto Rootpac-20, both under full irrigation and no irrigation conditions. Stressed plants exhibited severe dehydration, as indicated by lower leaf water potential and relative water content. Removing irrigation reduced stomatal conductance in grafted and self-rooted plants by a similar extent, suggesting an efficient stomatal control, while the reduction in the net photosynthesis rate was more marked in grafted plants compared to non-grafted plants. Self-rooted plants under water stress increased their root to shoot ratio and water use efficiency, which are positive aspects for growth and survival of these plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Collaborative Action and Social Organization in Remote Rural Regions: Autonomous Irrigation Arrangements in the Pamirs of Tajikistan
Water 2020, 12(10), 2905; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102905 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
This paper proposes a bottom–up “nexus medium” perspective to examine and understand social organization and how socio-ecological challenges in remote rural regions are dealt with in communities that receive only limited external support. While “nexus mediums” constitute substances, matter, or objects that combine [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a bottom–up “nexus medium” perspective to examine and understand social organization and how socio-ecological challenges in remote rural regions are dealt with in communities that receive only limited external support. While “nexus mediums” constitute substances, matter, or objects that combine manifold vital meanings and can be seen as socially constructed and materialized arenas of social interaction, autonomous resource management is seen as a means of local social organization. Taking water as the nexus medium of choice allows us to generate locally informed insights about the role of this scarce resource for the everyday life and social organization of communities inhabiting arid rural areas. This reasoning will be exemplified by three local case studies conducted during empirical research in the Pamirs of Tajikistan utilizing a mix of qualitative methods. The findings reveal how many fundamental everyday-life-related aspects and activities of the studied communities are related to water, and how these communities are organized around common water use and management arrangements that are based on joint decision-making, shared benefits and responsibilities, and collaborative action. The “nexus medium” concept appears to be an appropriate approach for research that seeks to understand from a local perspective how communal living is organized and how socio-ecological challenges are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Influence of Mixed Substrate and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Photosynthetic Efficiency, Nutrient and Water Status and Yield in Tomato Plants Irrigated with Saline Reclaimed Waters
Water 2020, 12(2), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020438 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2223
Abstract
The use of reclaimed water (RW) is considered as a means of maintaining agricultural productivity under drought conditions. However, RW may contain high concentrations of salts. The use of some practices, such as biofertilizers and organic substrates, is also becoming increasingly important in [...] Read more.
The use of reclaimed water (RW) is considered as a means of maintaining agricultural productivity under drought conditions. However, RW may contain high concentrations of salts. The use of some practices, such as biofertilizers and organic substrates, is also becoming increasingly important in agricultural. production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of a mixed substrate (with coconut fibre) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on water relations, nutrient uptake and productivity in tomato plants irrigated with saline RW in a commercial greenhouse. Saline RW on its own caused a nutrient imbalance and negatively affected several physiological parameters. However, the high water-holding capacity of coconut fibre in the mixed substrate increased water and nutrient availability for the plants. As a consequence, leaf water potential, gas exchange, some fluorescence parameters (PhiPSII, Fv’/Fm’, qP and ETR) and fruit size and weight improved, even in control irrigation conditions. The use of AMF improved only some parameters because of the low percentage of colonization, suggesting that AMF effectiveness in commercial field conditions is slower and dependent of several factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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Review

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Review
Dynamic Modeling of Crop–Soil Systems to Design Monitoring and Automatic Irrigation Processes: A Review with Worked Examples
Water 2022, 14(6), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060889 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
The smart use of water is a key factor in increasing food production. Over the years, irrigation has relied on historical data and traditional management policies. Control techniques have been exploited to build automatic irrigation systems based on climatic records and weather forecasts. [...] Read more.
The smart use of water is a key factor in increasing food production. Over the years, irrigation has relied on historical data and traditional management policies. Control techniques have been exploited to build automatic irrigation systems based on climatic records and weather forecasts. However, climate change and new sources of information motivate better irrigation strategies that might take advantage of the new sources of information in the spectrum of systems and control methodologies in a more systematic way. In this connection, two open questions deserve interest: (i) How can one deal with the space–time variability of soil conditions? (ii) How can one provide robustness to an irrigation system under unexpected environmental change? In this review, the different elements of an automatic control system are described, including the mathematical modeling of the crop–soil systems, instrumentation and actuation, model identification and validation from experimental data, estimation of non-measured variables and sensor fusion, and predictive control based on crop–soil and weather models. An overview of the literature is given, and several specific examples are worked out for illustration purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Irrigation Strategies for Sustainable Water Management)
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