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Water Conservation in Arid/dryland Agriculture
Water Conservation in Arid/dryland Agriculture

Water Conservation Techniques in Arid or Dryland Agriculture Systems5 min read

3. Ripper-Furrow Planting System

This technique is famous in Africa where water is scarce and agriculture suffers. Farmers are using this technique by employing Ripper-Furrower to rip 2 feet deep and form furrows. The function of this structure is to harvest rain water to sustain agriculture. Tractors are used during the first year to start this system. However, in next years, farmer crops directly into the rips lines using direct seeder powered by animal. The seed are then planted in the rips along-with the compost or fertilizer. With the occurrence of rainfall, water is funneled by the furrows and reaches to crop roots. This technique gives best output for drought tolerant varieties of sorghum, maize and millet. Crop rotation with legume cropping is encouraged while following this system.

Ripper-Furrow Planting System

Ripper-Furrow Planting System

4. Subsurface Irrigation Systems

It is an expensive system to setup; however, the returns in the long run are good. It is suitable for arid agriculture lands. In this system; water is supplied directly to the roots of plants. The advantage is water saving, zero nutrients loss as runoff, chances of weeds are less as they will not get desired water and nutrients, increased crop yield and production, zero surface evapo-transpiration, labor expense is saved, uniformity in application of water and nutrients and is most suitable for those agriculture areas where winds are frequent. 

Subsurface Irrigation System

Subsurface Irrigation System

The cost of initial installment is high. On the other hand leaking and clogging are some issues common in this system. If the system is installed with the help of professionals of the field, then these issues can be minimized. Estimates show that sub-surface irrigation system cost around $900 to $1500 for initial installment. Its life is more than 15 years and if maintained properly, it can easily last for 25 years.

5. Gated Pipe Irrigation

In this technique, water is supplied to agriculture fields through plastic or aluminum pipes. Quite popular in arid zones of USA and Latin America, this techniques reduces the leakage and evapo-transpiration losses and saves 30-50 percent of water. It also aid in reducing the soil erosion. An advantage of this technique is that the gates can be opened and closed as per need that is; one can irrigate the selected furrows only.

Gated Pipe Irrigation System

Gated Pipe Irrigation System

This system can be installed by supplying water into pipe using a concrete box. This box contains a tight screen or a filter that hinders the entering of debris into the pipe. The size of the pipe is around 15 inches in diameter. A gate in the form of plastic slide is present on the pipe after every 2 feet that can be opened or closed as per requirement. Irrigating shovel is used for closing and opening the gates.

The cost of establishing this irrigation system is less as compare to other modes. It is best suited for vegetable farming, cultivating corn, sugarcane, nuts and fruits.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 26). Water Conservation Techniques in Arid or Dryland Agriculture Systems [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2017/09/26/water-conservation-in-arid-agriculture

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Introduction Water is a jewel for arid agriculture farmers. Rainfall being the chief source of water for cropping purposes in these areas is precious. Arid areas are characterized by very low rainfall (less than 100mm as defined by FAO) high temperature and barren land. Even after the rainfall, the rate of evaporation and evapo-transpiration from water body structures and plants is high that available water loses at a fast pace. How Arid or Dryland are Formed? Arid or Dryland are formed naturally. This happens when topographic, climatic and oceanographic elements create hindrances in the way of moisture-bearing weather systems to…

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