LEARNING OBJECTIVES. FEB 101 Module 5: Irrigation Engineering LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Brain teaser 11/14/2012. Define the following terms

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1 FEB 101 Module 5: Irrigation Engineering Dr. Francis N. Gichuki LEARNING OBJECTIVES Define the following terms Irrigation Soil water holding capacity Crop water requirement Irrigation requirements Irrigation scheduling LEARNING OBJECTIVES The students should be able to address the following questions: What are the main irrigation methods? Is irrigation worthwhile? How much water will be required to irrigate? How much water is stored in the soil? When should I irrigated and how much should I apply? Brain teaser Is it possible to grow more than 10 tomato plants on a plot are of 0.3 m by 0.3 m? 1

2 IRRIGATION METHODS A Furrow Irrigation System a) Surface Irrigation: Just flooding water. About 90% of the irrigated areas in the world are by this method. b) Sprinkler Irrigation: Applying water under pressure. About 5 % of the irrigated areas are by this method. c) Drip or Trickle Irrigation: Applying water slowly to the soil ideally at the same rate with crop consumption. d) Sub-Surface Irrigation: Flooding water underground and allowing it to come up by capillarity to crop roots. Border Irrigation Basin Irrigation 2

3 Basin Irrigation SPRINKLER IRRIGATION SPRINKLER IRRIGATION SPRINKLER IRRIGATION DRIP IRRIGATION DRIP IRRIGATION 3

4 DRIP IRRIGATION SUB- SUB- IS IRRIGATION WORTHWHILE? The main determinants are: Irrigation development cost Annual operating expenses (land preparation, planting, fertilizer, weed control, pest and disease control, irrigation, harvesting) Crop yield and output Produce prices IS IRRIGATION WORTHWHILE? Eldoret West Region Hybrid6210 Production level 3 Rainfed Irrigated Gross margin 24,375 58,700 Total Income 45, ,500 Total Variable Costs 20,625 53,800 Quantity Unit Price Quantity Unit Price Output Yield: 90 kg 25 1,800 45, , , Land preparation Ploughing acre 1 2,000 2, ,000 2,000 Harrowing acre 1 1,000 1, ,000 1, Planting Seeds 10 kg 1 1,200 1, ,200 1,200 Labour (Planting) md Fertilizer DAP 50 kg 2 2,550 3, CAN 50 kg 1 1,800 1, ,800 1,800 IS IRRIGATION WORTHWHILE? Weed Control Herbicides kg/lt 1 1,200 1, ,200 1,200 labour (Weeding) md , ,500 labour (Spray) md , ,000 Pest and disease control Insecticides kg/lt 1 1,200 1, ,200 1,200 Labour (spray) md , , Irrigation ,000 10,000-5, , ,000 Harvesting Labour (harvesting) md , ,500 Bags no , ,250 Transport , ,250 4

5 Determining Volume of Water Needed Influence of climatic factors The amount of water used by the crop in transpiration and building of plant tissue, and that evaporated from adjacent soil or intercepted by plant foliage. It is expressed as depth in mm or as volume in m3/ha. It can represent the daily, design, monthly, or seasonal quantity of water needed for plant growth. Often referred to as Crop Evapotranspiration (ET c ). Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth's land surface to atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent loss of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves. Determining Volume of Water Needed Influence of crop growth stage Determining Volume of Water Needed Influence of rainfall Irrigation water requirement Crop water requirements - The amount of water that the crop uses to meet evapotranspiration needs - Units of measurements are mm/day and generally range from 3 8 mm/day Net Irrigation requirement (NIR) NIR = Crop Water Requirements Effective Rainfall + Other needs Other sources Gross irrigation requirement (GIR) GIR = NIR/Efficiency Given: Evapotranspiration (Etc) = 6 mm/day Effective rainfall (Re) for the month of July is 130 mm Volumetric Water Content & Equivalent Depth To find: How much water will be required to irrigated one hectare in the month of July? Assumption: Other needs and other sources = 0 Equation used Net Irrigation requirements (NIR) = Etc Re + On - Os NIR = 6 mm/day * mm = 56 mm In volume terms Volume = depth * Area = 56 mm/1000 mm/m * 10,000 m2/ha = 560 m3 /ha 5

6 Definitions Field Capacity (FC or fc ) Soil water content where gravity drainage becomes negligible Soil is not saturated but still a very wet condition Effect of soil texture on water holding capacity Permanent Wilting Point (WP or wp ) Soil water content beyond which plants cannot recover from water stress (dead) Still some water in the soil but not enough to be of use to plants Available Water Capacity (AWC) Available for plant use AWC = fc - wp Units: depth of available water per unit depth of soil, unitless (in/in, or mm/mm) Soil texture Field capacity % Permanent Wilting Point % Sand Loam Clay How much available water is stored in a clay soil at field capacity in a land area of 1 hectare to the depth of 1 m.? The FC = 40% and the PWP = 20% Formula Available water (AW) = (FC-PWP)* Depth * area Calculation AW = (40-20)/100 * 1 m * 10,000 m2 = 2,000 m3 WHEN TO IRRIGATED AND HOW MUCH TO APPLY? Irrigation scheduling is the process used by irrigation system managers to determine the correct frequency and duration of watering. Important factors to keep in mind when developing a irrigation scheduling tool for a client: The scheduling tool must consider information about the crop, soil, climate, irrigation system, water deliveries and management objectives. An irrigation scheduling tool needs only be accurate enough to determine how much water to apply and when. A good rule of thumb to follow when developing an irrigation scheduling tool is to keep it simple and easy for the client to understand. 6

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