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Irrigation and Scheduling and Types

Net Irrigation Req

of Irrigation
NIR= net irrigation requirement,
ET= evapotranspiration, and
ERAIN = effective rainfall.
ERAIN is that portion of rainfall which can be
effectively used by a crop, that is, rain which is
stored in the crop root zone. Therefore, ERAIN is
less than total rainfall due to interception, runoff
and deep percolation (or drainage) losses.

Gross Irrigation req Crop and Base period

The gross irrigation requirement (GIR) is the
amount that must be pumped. GIR is greater than Crop period = crop period is the time in days that a
NIR by a factor which depends on the irrigation crop takes From the instant of its sowing to that of
efficiency (EFF): its harvesting
Base period
Base period of a crop refers to the whole period of
GIR = gross irrigation requirement (inches), cultivation from the time when irrigation water is
NIR = net irrigation requirement (inches), and first issued for preparation of the ground for planting
EFF = irrigation efficiency (decimal fraction). the crop to its last watering

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Delta & Duty GCA and CCA
Delta is the total depth of water required by a crop during
the entire period of the crop in the field
Example Gross command area(GCA)
If a crop requires about 12 waterings at an interval of 10 The GCA is the total area lying between drainage
days and a water depth of 10cm in every watering, then the boundaries which can be commanded or irrigated by
delta is 12*10= 120 cm canals.
Duty Culturable Command area (CCA)
Duty is defined as the no of hectares/ acres that one cumec The GCA also contains unfertile barren land alkaline
Or cusec of water can irrigate during the base period soil, local ponds, villages, etc . These are known as
Relation between duty and delta uncluturable areas. The remaining area is called CCA
GCA= CCA+Unculturable area
Delta= 8.64*(B/D) meters
D= duty in hectares/cumec
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B= base period in days.

Monthly Estimation of water requirement

Estimation of water requirement
Seasonal IR(Cm)/Rotation period(Days)
- - - - - - - - - - - - -


Where - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A = Area in ha COTTO
N(IR) 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50

I= Depth of irrigation in cm RT 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00 15.00 15.00 15.00

S.CANE 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00
R= Rotation period in Days 15.00 15.00 10.00 10.00 7.50 10.00 30.00 15.00 30.00 15.00 15.00
E= Irrigation efficiency ( In fraction) EAN 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50
30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00
MAIZE 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50
30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00
JOWAR 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50
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Example: What design discharge is required for a
canal to irrigate an area of 10 hectares in the semi-arid
subtropics, when the mean daily temperature is 30oC,
and the mean rainfall is 0.2 mm/d during the peak
period (midseason)?
The canal is 800m long and is to operate for 12
hours per day.
Losses from a similar canal are measured as 48mm
per hour with a water-surface width of 1.5m/m length.
ETo= 7.5 mm/day
Field irrigation efficiency= 0.6
Effective rain fall =0.7 10

ETo = 7.5 mm/d;

Hence the net irrigation requirement is:
7.5 - (0.7 x 0.2) = 7.36 mm/d;
and the field irrigation requirement is:
7.36/0.60 = 12.3 mm/d Irrigation scheduling is defined as the process of
Canal losses = 48*1.5/(60*60)= 0.02 l/s per metre length determining when to irrigate and how much
A = 10ha = 10 x 10 000 m2 water to apply.
Q = 12.3 x (10 x 10 000) + 800 x 0.02
= 28 + 16 = 44 l/s Through proper irrigation scheduling, it should
This design discharge of 44 l/s should be compared with the water be possible to apply only the water which the
available from the source. If less is available, the area may need crop needs in addition to unavoidable seepage
to be reduced, or the irrigation time
and runoff losses and leaching requirements.

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Irrigation Scheduling- A decision
Irrigation Scheduling
Irrigation scheduling concerns the farmers' decision process
concerning 'when' to irrigate and 'how much' water to apply in
order to maximize profit.
An efficient watering program must
This requires knowledge on crop water requirements and include three basic steps:
yield responses to water,
the constraints specific to each irrigation method and 1. Determining when water is needed.
irrigation equipment,
the limitations relative to the water supply system and the
2. Determining how much should be
financial and economic implications of the irrigation practice. applied.
Thus, the consideration of all these aspects makes irrigation
scheduling a very complex decision making process, one 3. Deciding how water is to be applied.
which only very few farmers can understand and therefore
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Irrigation Scheduling
Common irrigation scheduling approaches include:
1. irrigating on fixed intervals or following a simple CALENDAR DEVELOPMENT
calendar, i.e., when a water turn occurs or according to a Irrigation calendars for
predetermined schedule; each crop are normally
2. irrigating when one's neighbour irrigates; determined for two, or
3. observation of visual plant stress indicators; in some cases, three
4. measuring (or estimating) soil water by use of planting dates, for the
instruments or sampling techniques such as feel, major soils (usually
gravimetric, electrical resistance (gypsum) blocks, two per scheme) and
tensiometers or neutron probes; perhaps for two
different initial soil
5. by following a soil water budget based on weather data
water contents at the
and/or pan evaporation; and beginning of the
6. some combination of the above. 15 irrigation season. 16
The Check Book Method: Crop Benefits of Irrigation Scheduling
Action _| August date _|ETc _ |Rainfall _|Accumulated ETc Scheduling maximizes irrigation efficiency
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - inches - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - by minimizing runoff and percolation
Irrigate | 1 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.29 _ |_ _ _ _ _| 0.29
_ _ _ _ _| 2 _ _ _ _ _ _|0 37 _ |_ _ _ _ _| 0.66
_ _ _ _ _| 3 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.38 _ |0.08 _ _ | 0.96
_ _ _ _ _| 4 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.34 _ |1.45 _ _ | -----
This often results in lower energy and water
_ _ _ _ _| 5 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.37 _ | _ _ _ _ | 0.37 use
_ _ _ _ _| 6 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.26 _ | _ _ _ _ | 0.63
_ _ _ _ _| 7 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.31 _ | _ _ _ _ | 0.94 Optimum crop yields,
_ _ _ _ _| 8 _ _ _ _ _ _|0.28 _ | _ _ _ _ | 1.22

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When to Irrigate Efficiency of water application

The most efficient way to water
is to apply water when it begins
to show signs of stress from lack . An efficient watering does not saturate the soil, and
of water. The following signs are does not allow water to run off.
indications of water need: . Typically, two to three waterings per week in the
Bluish-gray areas in the field summer and once every 10 to 14 days in the winter
Footprints or tire tracks that
remain in the grass long after
are required. If rainfall occurs, irrigation should be
being made suspended according to the rainfall amount.
Many leaf blades folded in half
Soil sample from the root zone
feels dry
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Manner of applying water Soil Moisture Measuring Techniques

These sensors use a porous ceramic cup
Water should never be applied at a rate faster than it can be attached to the bottom of a clear plastic
absorbed by the soil. If the sprinkler applies too much tube/water reservoir and calibrated
vacuum gage to measure soil moisture
water, it runs off, and is wasted. tension in centibars.
Tensiometers come in varying lengths,
Avoid extremes in watering frequency and amount. Light, from 1 foot to 4 feet in length,
frequent watering is inefficient and encourages shallow root These devices are also soaked in water
systems . Excessive irrigation, which keeps the root system for at least one day before installation.
Good contact between the ceramic cup
saturated with water, is harmful. Roots need a balance of and the surrounding soil is also
essential for this device.
water and air to function and grow properly.
As water flows out of the tensiometer
The time of watering is important. The best time for into the surrounding soil until moisture
equilibrates, it creates a partial vacuum
irrigation is in the early morning hours. in the tensiometer body which is read
on the calibrated vacuum gage as
Watering during the day can waste water by excessive matric potential or soil moisture
evaporation. 21
tension. 22

Reading Tensiometers
The tensiometer gauge reads
the tension between soil
and water particles. Soil
moisture tension increases There should be at least one, and preferably two,
when there is less water in the
soil. As a result the
tensiometer locations (two or more tensiometers
tensiometer gauge, Figure 2, at one location being a station) for each area of
reads high for dry soils the field that differs in the soil type and depth
and low for wet soils.
A wet soil would be indicated A station located in each different soil type
by a reading under 10 enables you, through timing and duration of
cbars and a reading above 50
cbars would indicate a
irrigation to maintain the same amount of
dry soil for most soil types. available water in all areas.
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Placement of Tensiometers in the Placement of Tensiometers in the

For a sprinkler system the tensiometers should be placed in
the area irrigated by the first lateral within the root zone of the For any system a second monitoring site should
crop. be installed where a significant change in either
When operating a trickle system the soil should be the crop, soil or irrigation system is evident.
maintained at a constant soil moisture. Tensiometers
should be placed 12 to 18 from the emitter in an area Deep rooted plants, such as fruit trees, should
that is representative of where the plants are taking up have two tensiometers per site one at 12 and
water one at 24.
With micro-sprinkler systems tensiometers are placed
along the crop row, in the root zone, at the midpoint
between two sprinklers. This should be in an area of the
field that represents typical soil and crop conditions. 27 28
Wild flooding

Flood irrigation is the least expensive

irrigation method where water is
relatively cheap.

It should only be used on very flat

fields, where ponding is not a problem.

Flooding is a good way to flush salts out

of the soil.

It is highly inefficient
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Check flooding

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Basin flooding Flooding- When and why
An abundant supply of water and cheap
Close growing crops
Farms with low availability of labour and land is cheap
Any amount of water can be used
Installation and operation is low
System is not damaged by live stock
System does not interfere with use of farm implements
Excessive loss of water
Water distributed unevenly
Fertilisers are often eroded
Drainage must be provided
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Furrow Irrigation Furrow

Furrow irrigation is relatively
inexpensive where water costs are
Furrows must be carefully dug to
ensure an even distribution of

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Furrow irrigation
The main objective is to direct
The water between the rows of a crop
and permit it to soak down to the roots
Variable water supply
Slopes steep >6%
Medium and fine texured soils
Where skilled labour is available
Better water efficiency
Can be used on any row
Relatively easy to install
High erosion
High skilled labour
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Drainage to be provided

Border strip irrigation

Large and dependable supply water
Soils at least 3 feet deep
Farms with high land values
Close growing crops
Efficient use of water
Uniform application of water
High water values
Rapid method
Large supply of water is required
Deep soils are required
Land must be level
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Drainage must be provided
Drip or Trickle Irrigation.
This is the most expensive,
but most water-efficient,
Low-quality water (high
in salts) should not be
used, unless filtered, due
to potentially devastating
effects of clogged emitters.
Sprinkler Irrigation: These Also, the use of water
methods are more expensive high in soluble salts will
than flood or furrow irrigation, result in localized soil
but are more efficient at using
water. salinity buildup around
Still, much water is lost through plants, since drip
evaporation, and problems due irrigation is an ineffective
to foliar moisture-loving diseases leaching method.
can arise if over watering occurs.41 42

Traditional systems Picota

By Hand

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Bucket wheet

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