Water Saving in Agriculture

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2022) | Viewed by 8893

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Guest Editor
Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, Sevilla, Spain
Interests: agricultural economics; water economics; development economics
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Dear Colleagues,

Irrigation is one of the main water uses, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Without additional water supply, improving water saving is crucial in such areas to free up resources for other uses, and increasingly so in a climate change context. An optimized reallocation must be guided by principles based on the value of water scarcity and the maximization of social welfare. Alongside other regulatory and technological options, economic instruments may provide an operational set of water management strategies.

A number of initiatives can enhance water saving in agriculture, such as technological ones: (i) modernizing irrigation infrastructure; (ii) adopting more efficient irrigation practices (e.g., deficit irrigation); (iii) adopting crops with fewer water requirements or drought-tolerant varieties; but also institutional and economic ones such as: (iv) water pricing on agriculture; (v) implementing water markets; or (vi) water banks.

The aim of this Special Issue is to discuss and exchange different, yet complementary, recent experiences on water-saving strategies in irrigated agriculture as well as new methodological advances on modeling ex ante/ex post the application of such strategies in a climate change context.

Prof. Dr. Laura Riesgo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • irrigation
  • water-saving technologies
  • water markets
  • water banks
  • water pricing
  • climate change

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1494 KiB  
Article
Measuring Technical Efficiency for Closuring Yield Gap and Improving Water Productivity of the Irrigated Durum Wheat in Tunisia
by Fraj Chemak, Houda Mazhoud, Zouhair Rached, Anissa Gara, Rahma Rahmeni and Habib Ghannem
Water 2022, 14(14), 2270; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14142270 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
In Tunisia, the development of the irrigated cereal sector plays a key role in the mitigation of the fluctuation of the rainfed production and to ensure a minimum of production. However, the archived yields remain under the expected potential performance, and the water [...] Read more.
In Tunisia, the development of the irrigated cereal sector plays a key role in the mitigation of the fluctuation of the rainfed production and to ensure a minimum of production. However, the archived yields remain under the expected potential performance, and the water productivity is very low. Hence, this work aims to investigate the performance of the irrigated durum wheat activity and to identify eventual determinants to improve the water productivity. To reach the objective, a field survey was carried out with a sample of 555 farmers. We adopted a data envelopment analysis approach to assess the technical efficiency and water use efficiency. A Tobit model was estimated to identify determinants of the technical performance. The results showed that the technical efficiency reached only 63%, which meant that farmers could increase the durum wheat yield from 3.5 tha−1 to 4.8 tha−1. The water use efficiency reached only 30%, which translates to an unwise use of the water resource. The results also showed an eventual improvement of the water productivity by more importantly saving the irrigation water rather than optimizing the production. To improve the performances, the results revealed some key determinants that could be taken into account by policy makers to implement appropriate strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 477 KiB  
Article
Integrated Evaluation of the Water Deficit Irrigation Scheme of Indigowoad Root under Mulched Drip Irrigation in Arid Regions of Northwest China Based on the Improved TOPSIS Method
by Zeyi Wang, Hengjia Zhang, Yucai Wang and Chenli Zhou
Water 2021, 13(11), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111532 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Limited water resources and low water productivity limit the sustainable development of agriculture in northwest China. In this study, drip irrigation under plastic film was used to achieve an optimal water deficit irrigation (WDI) scheme for the cultivation of indigowoad root (Isatis [...] Read more.
Limited water resources and low water productivity limit the sustainable development of agriculture in northwest China. In this study, drip irrigation under plastic film was used to achieve an optimal water deficit irrigation (WDI) scheme for the cultivation of indigowoad root (Isatis tinctoria L.). Field water control experiments were conducted in 2016 and 2017. Evaluation of WDI schemes was carried out by considering five indices: water consumption, yield, water use efficiency (WUE), indigo, and (R,S)-goitrin. To enhance the reliability of results, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy weight method (EWM) were adopted to calculate the combined weight of the evaluation index. Finally, an improved technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) that integrated AHP–EWM weights was used to construct a unified, comprehensive evaluation model of indigowoad root under mulched drip irrigation that would produce high yield while saving water. The evaluation results indicated that mild WD (specifically, the V1G1 treatment) was continuously exerted during the vegetative and fleshy root growth periods, which enhanced the WUE and improved the quality of indigowoad root to a certain extent without significantly reducing the yield. These results provide a scientific basis for irrigation of indigowoad in northwest China and other areas with a similar environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Agriculture)
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11 pages, 694 KiB  
Article
Effects of Biochar Addition on Rice Growth and Yield under Water-Saving Irrigation
by Xi Chen, Shihong Yang, Jie Ding, Zewei Jiang and Xiao Sun
Water 2021, 13(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020209 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4059
Abstract
To reveal the effect of biochar addition on rice growth and yield under water-saving irrigation, a 2-year field experiment was carried out to clarify the variations of rice tiller number, plant height, yield components, and irrigation water use efficiency with different biochar application [...] Read more.
To reveal the effect of biochar addition on rice growth and yield under water-saving irrigation, a 2-year field experiment was carried out to clarify the variations of rice tiller number, plant height, yield components, and irrigation water use efficiency with different biochar application amounts (0, 20, 40 t/ha) and irrigation management (flooding irrigation and water-saving irrigation). The results showed that the rice yield with biochar addition (20 and 40 t/ha) was 15.53% and 24.43% higher than that of non-biochar addition paddy fields under water-saving irrigation. The addition of biochar promoted the growth of tillers and plant height, improved the filled grain number, productive panicle number, and seed setting rate, thus affecting rice yield. Rice yield was raised with the increase in the biochar application amount. Under the condition of water-saving irrigation, water deficit had a certain negative effect on the rice growth indexes, resulting in a slight decrease in yield. However, irrigation water input was significantly decreased with water-saving irrigation compare to flooding irrigation. Under the comprehensive effect of water-saving irrigation and biochar application, the irrigation water use efficiency of a rice paddy field with high biochar application (40 t/ha) under water-saving irrigation was the highest, with an average increase of 91.05% compared to a paddy field with flooding irrigation. Therefore, the application of biochar in paddy fields with water-saving irrigation can substantially save irrigation water input, stably increase rice yield, and ultimately improve irrigation water productive efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Agriculture)
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