Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 205–217 | Cite as

Evapotranspiration and irrigation effeciency of mature orange orchards in Valencia (Spain)

  • Juan R. Castel
  • I. Bautista
  • C. Ramos
  • G. Cruz


Actual evapotranspiration (ETc) of three mature sweet orange orchards (cv. Salustiana and Washington Navel on sour orange), under border irrigation and typical cultural practices was measured by the water balance method during 1981 to 1984. Soil water content was measured at 7 to 10 day intervals using a neutron meter and soil sampling of the 0–10 cm surface layer. Zero flux plane was calculated by measurements with mercury tensiometers. Irrigation water in these and other 5 similar orchards was measured by broad crested weirs. Rainfall and other climatic data for calculation of reference evapotranspiration by FAO's methods (ETo) were collected in a nearby meteorological station. Average yearly ETc ranged from 750 to 660 mm and mean monthly maximum was 3.7 and 3.2 mm/day in July for Salustiana and W. Navel orchards, respectively.

ETo estimates for the different methods used were highly correlated (r2⩾0.94). Monthly crop coefficients (Kc) based on pan evaporation ranged from 0.5–0.6 in spring and summer to 0.8 in autumn and were about 10% higher than those for Penman or radiation methods. Average annual Kc for the three plots studied was 0.64, 0.61 and 0.51, respectively, and correlated well (r2=0.99) with tree ground cover. Irrigation efficiency was about 50% for orchards with soils with less water holding capacity and more applied water per irrigation and 70–80% in orchards with deeper soils or with a higher water holding capacity. Increasing irrigation frequency and applying smaller amounts of water per irrigation with good uniformity can improve on-farm irrigation efficiency.

Key words

citrus evapotranspiration border irrigation irrigation efficiency soil water balance 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan R. Castel
    • 1
  • I. Bautista
    • 2
  • C. Ramos
    • 1
  • G. Cruz
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias, Apartado OficialMoncada, ValenciaSpain
  2. 2.E.T.S.I.A.Edafologia, ValenciaSpain

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