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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #206139


item Strelkoff, Theodor
item Clemmens, Albert
item Bautista, Eduardo

Submitted to: Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2009
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Strelkoff, T., Clemmens, A.J., Bautista, E. 2009. FIELD PROPERTIES IN SURFACE IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT AND DESIGN. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 135(5):525-536

Interpretive Summary: Irrigated agriculture is vital to the satisfaction of the world population's needs for food and fiber. In the United States, nearly 50% of the irrigated land is watered by surface irrigation. In other parts of the world, the figure approaches and exceeds 90%. With water increasingly scarce and in demand by competing interests, and water-application efficiencies typically in the 40-65% range, more effective design and management procedures are essential. Likewise, contamination of the environment with agricultural chemicals needs to be minimized through rational design and management. Through application of modern design methods, rooted in science, simulation models, and design and analysis software, efficiencies over 90% have been achieved, and recommendations for reducing ground and surface water pollution have been made. Field properties such as topography, soil infiltration, and hydraulic resistance (of soil grains and clods, mulch, and plant parts) have a profound effect on the performance of surface irrigation systems. Reasonable estimates of these parameters are crucial to good management and design. This paper describes the characteristics of the pertinent properties and sets the stage for presentation of estimation methods that are used for entry of field data into software tools. Such tools in the hands of action agencies like the NRCS, University Extension personnel, and consultants, can assist in developing recommendations to growers and irrigators that will enhance water usage and reduce environmental contamination.

Technical Abstract: Field properties, such as topography, hydraulic resistance, and infiltration, play an important role in the performance of surface irrigation systems, and appropriate characterizations of these are required as data input to simulation or design software. The EWRI/ASCE Task Committee on Soil and Crop Hydraulic Properties has been charged with preparing a guide for practitioners faced with such data entry. The result is this Special Issue of the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering in which this paper is the second in the series presented. It describes the characteristics of these field properties and notes a series of caveats to be considered when dealing with them in the course of analyses or designs of surface-irrigation systems.