Irrigation Science

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 77–84

Evaluating irrigation performance in a Mediterranean environment

I. Model and general assessment of an irrigation scheme
Original Paper

Abstract

Assessment of irrigation performance is a prerequisite for improving water use in the agricultural sector to respond to perceived water scarcity. Between 1996 and 2000, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the Genil–Cabra irrigation scheme (GCIS) located in Andalusia, southern Spain. The area has about 7,000 ha of irrigated lands distributed in 843 parcels and devoted to a diverse crop mix, with cereals, sunflower, cotton, garlic and olive trees as principal crops. Irrigation is on demand from a pressurized system and hand-moved sprinkler irrigation is the most popular application method. Six performance indicators were used to assess the physical and economic performance of irrigation water use and management in the GCIS, using parcel water-use records and a simulation model. The model simulates the water-balance processes on every field and computes an optimal irrigation schedule, which is then checked against actual schedules. Among the performance indicators, the average irrigation water supply:demand ratio (the ratio of measured irrigation supply to the simulated optimum demand) varied among years from 0.45 to 0.64, indicating that the area is under deficit irrigation. When rainfall was included, the supply:demand ratio increased up to 0.87 in one year, although it was only 0.72 in the driest year, showing that farmers did not fully compensate for the low rainfall with sufficient irrigation water. Nevertheless, farmers in the area made an efficient use of rainfall, as indicated by the relatively high values (0.72–0.83) for the ratio of actual:attainable crop yields. Water productivity (WP) in the GCIS oscillated between 0.72 €/m3 and 1.99 €/m3 during the 4 years and averaged 1.42 €/m3 of water supplied for irrigation, while the irrigation water productivity (IWP) averaged 0.63 €/m3 for the period studied. WP is higher than IWP because WP includes production generated by rainfall, while IWP includes only the production generated by irrigation.

References

  1. Allen RG (2000) Using the FAO-56 dual crop coefficient method over an irrigated region as part of an evaporation intercomparison study. J Hydrol 229:27–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration: guidelines for computing crop water requirements. (FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56) FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Bos MG (1997) Performance indicators for irrigation and drainage. Irrig Drain Syst 11:119–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bos MG, Murray-Rust DH, Merrey DJ, Johnson HG, Snellen WB (1994) Methodologies for assessing performance of irrigation and drainage management. Irrig Drain Syst 7:231–261Google Scholar
  5. Burt CM, Styles SW (1999) Modern water control and management practices in irrigation. Impact on performance. (Water Reports 19) FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  6. Coelho MB, Villalobos FJ, Mateos L (2003) Modeling root growth and the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum of cotton crops. Agric Water Manage 60:99–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corominas J (2000) Mas allá de la modernización de los regadíos. In: AERYD (ed) XVIII Congreso nacional de riegos. AERYD, Madrid, pp 3–31Google Scholar
  8. Dechmi F, Playan E, Faci JM, Tejero M (2003) Analysis of an irrigation district in northeastern Spain. I. Characterisation and water use assessment. Agric Water Manage 61:75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doorenbos J, Kassam AH (1979) Yield response to water. (FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 33) FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  10. Doorenbos J, Pruitt WO (1977) Guidelines for predicting crop water requirements. (FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 24) FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  11. Droogers P, Kite G (1999) Water productivity from integrated basin modeling. Irrig Drain Syst 13:275–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Droogers P, Kite G (2001) Estimating productivity of water at different spatial scales using simulation modeling. (Research Report 53) International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  13. Droogers P, Kite G, Murray-Rust H (2000) Use of simulation models to evaluate irrigation performance including water productivity, risk and system analyses. Irrig Sci 19:139–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Faci JM, Bensaci A, Slatni A, Playán E (2000) A case study for irrigation modernisation. I. Characterisation of the district and analysis of water delivery records. Agric Water Manage 42:313–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feddes RA (1988) Modelling and simulation in hydrologic systems related to agricultural development: state of the art. Agric Water Manage 13:235–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fereres E (1984) Variability in adaptive mechanisms to water deficits in annual and perennial crops plants. Bull Soc Bot Fr 131:17–32Google Scholar
  17. Hartkamp AD, White JW, Hoogenboom G (1999) Interfacing geographic information systems with agronomic modeling: a review. Agron J 91:761–772Google Scholar
  18. Kalu IL, Paudyal GN, Gupta AD (1995) Equity and efficiency issues in irrigation water distribution. Agric Water Manage 28:335–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kite G (2000) Using a basin-scale hydrological model to estimate crop transpiration and soil evaporation. J Hydrol 229:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kite G, Droogers P (2000) Comparing evapotranspiration estimates from satellites, hydrological models and field data. J Hydrol 229:3–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kloezen WH, Garcés-Restrepo C (1998) Assessing irrigation performance with comparative indicators: the case of the Alto Rio Lerma irrigation district, Mexico. (Research Report 22) Irrigation Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  22. Lorite IJ, Mateos L, Fereres E (2004) Evaluating irrigation performance in a Mediterranean environment. II. Variability among crops and farmers. Irrig Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  23. Losada A, Juana L, Roldán J (1990) Operation diagrams for irrigation management. Agric Water Manage 18:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Malano H, Burton M (2001) Guidelines for benchmarking performance in the irrigation and drainage sector. (International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage) FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  25. Mantovani EC, Villalobos FJ, Orgaz F, Fereres E (1995) Modelling the effects of sprinkler irrigation uniformity on crop yield. Agric Water Manage 27:243–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. MAPA (1998) Plan nacional de regadios. (Horizonte 2007) Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, MadridGoogle Scholar
  27. MIMAM (1998) El libro blanco del agua en España. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  28. MIMAM (2000) Plan hidrológico nacional. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  29. Molden DJ, Gates TK (1990) Performance measures for evaluation of irrigation/water delivery systems. J Irrig Drain Eng ASCE 116:804–823Google Scholar
  30. Molden DJ, Sakthivadivel R, Perry CJ, Fraiture C de, Kloezen WH (1998) Indicators for comparing performance of irrigated agricultural systems. (Research Report 20) International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  31. Sarma PBS, Rao VV (1997) Evaluation of an irrigation water management scheme—a case study. Agric Water Manage 32:181–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Soil Conservation Service (1972) National engineering handbook, USDA–Soil Conservation Service , Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  33. Taylor HM (1983) Managing root systems for efficient water use: an overview. In: Taylor HM, Jordan WR, Sinclair TR (eds) Limitations to efficient water use in crop production. ASA/CSSA/SSSA, Madison, Wis., pp 87–113Google Scholar
  34. Van Aelst PV, Ragab RA, Feyen J, Raes D (1988) Improving irrigation management by modelling the irrigation schedule. Agric Water Manage 13:113–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams JR (1991) Runoff and water erosion. In: Hanks J, Ritchie JT (eds) Modeling plant and soil systems. ASA/CSSA/SSSA, Madison, Wis., pp 439–455Google Scholar
  36. Wu IP (1988) Linearized water application function for drip irrigation schedules. Trans Am Soc Agric Eng 31:1743–1749Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Agricultura SostenibleConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de AgronomíaUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

Personalised recommendations