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Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 3145–3164 | Cite as

A New Model for Simulating Supplemental Irrigation and the Hydro-Economic Potential of a Rainwater Harvesting System in Humid Subtropical Climates

  • Pramod K. Pandey
  • Pieter van der Zaag
  • Michelle L. Soupir
  • Vijay P. Singh
Article

Abstract

Here we have developed a new model to simulate supplemental irrigation and the hydro-economic potential of a rainwater harvesting system in rainfed agricultural areas. Using the model, soil moisture in rainfed crop land, supplemental irrigation requirements, rainwater storage in an on-farm reservoir (OFR) system, and surface and ground water availability were predicted. In an irrigated system, an OFR was used to harvest rainwater during the rainy season, and stored water was applied to cropland as supplemental irrigation (SI). An economic analysis was performed to calculate the benefits due to an OFR irrigation system, and gains from increased crop yield and downstream water availability in the irrigated OFR system were compared with rainfed system (i.e. no OFR). In addition, we calculated the impacts of dry and wet seasons on total value gains (grain and water gains) for irrigated and rainfed conditions and performed a sensitivity analysis to quantify the impacts of model input parameters on total value gains. Analyses showed that the OFR system can produce crop yields three times greater than rainfed agriculture. During a water stress season, the total water use in the irrigated system was 65 % greater than for the rainfed system. Water use efficiency of the irrigated system was 82 % higher than for the rainfed system. In a dry season, the total value gains due to increased crop yield by supplemental irrigation and downstream water availability of the irrigated system were 74 % greater than for the rainfed system, while in a wet season the total value gain of the irrigated system was 14 % greater than for the rainfed system. A precipitation scenario analysis of wet and dry seasons indicated that the benefits of a rainwater harvesting system can be considerably greater in dry seasons than wet seasons.

Keywords

Rainwater harvesting Supplemental irrigation, downstream water availability 

Nomenclature

OFR

On-farm reservoir

ACA

Catchment area

ACL

Cultivated area

AUC

Uncultivated area

AOFR

OFR area

ds/dt

Change in soil moisture

dw/dt

Change in OFR water

Peff

Effective precipitation

QUC

Runoff from uncult. land

ET0

Reference evapotrans.

ETc

Estimated evapotrans.

P

Precipitation

Es

Actual soil evaporation

E

Evaporation OFR

D

Deep percolation

S

Seepage from OFR

SI

Supplemental irrigation

SImax

max. suppl. irrigation

RAM

Readily available soil moisture

QC

Runoff from cult. land

Kr

Deep absorption constant for deep percolation

R

Proportional constant for deep percolation

Dwt

Depth from OFR bottom to the water table

Ks

Saturated hydraulic conductivity

Kc

Crop coefficient

Yc

Calculated crop yield

Ymax

Maximum crop yield

Yirr

Actual crop yield under irrigated conditions

Yrain

Actual crop yield under rainfed conditions

Ky

Yield response factor

Sm

Available soil moisture

TWU

Total water use

WUE

Overall water use efficiency

IWSE

Irrigation water supply efficiency

GW

Green water

Bw

Blue water

WVOFR

Water storage in OFR

Qspill

Spill from OFR

NRAM

Non-readily available soil moisture

Smfc

Available soil moisture at field capacity

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pramod K. Pandey
    • 1
  • Pieter van der Zaag
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michelle L. Soupir
    • 1
  • Vijay P. Singh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelftNetherlands
  3. 3.Water Resources SectionDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands
  4. 4.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringTexas A & M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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