Module No. 5

Sustainable Farming: Importance of Efficient Water Use

>
>

Module 5: Sustainable Farming

Introduction

  • The water is our most vital resource, but less than 1 % is available for human use.
  • Water is a critical input for agricultural production and plays an important role in food security.
  • Heavy rainfall causes enormous surface and subsurface runoff wherever land is sloping. Losses during intense rainfall events are enormous (30 to 50 thousand m3 of water per 100 ha).
  • The demand (climate change, population growth, industrialisation..) for water increases, but limited water supplies decrease (e. g. water pollution).
  • The increasing competition for water use will have direct impact on agriculture and the capability to feed the growing population.
  • Globally more than 70% of water is used for agriculture.

Contents

1.1. The Importance of WUE

1.2. The WUE relies on

3.1. Precision Agriculture

3.2. Agroforestry

3.3. Increase the Soil‘s Ability to Retain Water

3.4. Saving Water in the Landscape

1. Water Use Efficiency (WUE)

  • Water use efficiency is the amount of carbon assimilated as biomass or grain produced per unit of water used by the crop.
  • Water use efficiency is usually measured by harvesting plants, determining dry weight of the vegetative portion or grain, and dividing that by the rainfall or irrigation plus rainfall.
  • Water use efficiency refers to the ratio of water used in plant metabolism to water lost by the plant through transpiration.
  • Water use efficiency is an important index in climate change research and hydrological studies, as it reflects how the carbon and water cycles are coupled.

2. How to improve WUE?

Conservation of water:

  • Reduce conveyance losses by lining channels or, preferably, by using closed conduits.
  • Reduce direct evaporation during irrigation by avoiding midday sprinkling. Minimize foliar interception by under-canopy, rather than by overhead sprinkling.
  • Reduce runoff and percolation losses due to overirrigation.
  • Reduce evaporation from bare soil by mulching and by keeping the inter-row strips dry.
  • Reduce transpiration by weeds, keeping the inter-row strips dry and applying weed control measures where needed.

Enhancement of crop growth:

  • Select most suitable and marketable crops for the region.
  • Use optimal timing for planting and harvesting.
  • Use optimal tillage (avoid excessive cultivation).
  • Use appropriate insect, parasite and disease control.

The adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices can reduce pesticide use which in turn can reduce the impact on surface and groundwater from pest management practices

Enhancement of crop growth:

  • Apply manures and green manures where possible and fertilize effectively (preferably by injecting the necessary nutrients into the irrigation water).
  • Practise soil conservation for long-term sustainability.
  • Avoid progressive salinization by monitoring water-table elevation and early signs of salt accumulation, and by appropriate drainage.
  • Irrigate at high frequency and in the exact amounts needed to prevent water deficits, taking account of weather conditions and crop growth stage.

3. Methods and Technologies

Crops and Wue

Water-extensive crops examples:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Millets
  • Sorghum
  • Wheat

Water-intensive crops examples:

  • Rice
  • Soybeans
  • Sugarcane
  • Cucumber

Smart Technologies – Examples

Drip Irrigation

  • Save water by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants; the most effective water saving irrigation system.
  • The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation.

Disadvantages: Very high input cost; plastic tubes sometimes get broken for excessive sun heat…

Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI)

  • Supplies water directly to the crop root-zone.
  • Can free up above ground space.
  • Great performance in windy and arid locations.

Disadvantages: Risk of clogging; a lot of repair work is caused by rodents chewing the tubes; heavy machinery can damage the laterals; emitter can be damaged or blocked by root hairs…

Precision Agriculture

  • Make farming more controlled, accurate and reduce wastage.
  • Use of new technologies: GPS, GIS, Drones, Robots, Smartphone applications, Soil moisture sensors…
  • Use of technologies to observe, measure, and apply exact quantities of inputs to crops on a large scale.
  • Allow to apply of precise and correct amount of inputs like water, fertilizer, pesticides etc.

Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) technologies:

  • Individual approach to the land – put water inputs to better use by irrigating areas that are in need and taking away unnecessary irrigation dead zones
  • IArtificial intelligence can process complex data inputs and create tailored schedules and recommendations for water application

Agroforestry:
  • The interaction of agriculture and trees, including the agricultural use of trees.
  • Agroforestry is water-wise farming and can increase water use efficiency.
  • Growing trees can reduce water consumption, help retain water for crops.
  • The integration of certain trees can capture large amount of the rainfall, and produce high-value tree products (such as fruit or timber).
Benefits:
  • Help retain water; can provide watershed protection.
  • Can improve crop productivity by – increasing soil organic matter, infiltration and water storage; improving soil physical properties and biological activity; can reduce leaching and soil erosion.
  • Protect soil and increase the ability of agricultural soil to hold water.
  • Restore the natural character of the local landscape and protect/restore biodiversity increases the water retention capacity of the soil; protect the soil from the erosion and reduce risk of floodings.
  • Examples:
    • reduce tillage and farm on appropriate field size;
    • restoring crops and field margins support biodiversity and protect soil from the erosion;
    • restore and protect natural wetlands.
  • Solution = a combination of technology use and application of nature-based measures on agricultural land is necessary
  • Technology (examples):
    • Use of deep, chisel, disc, or combined cultivators as for example subsoiler digger
    • The aim is to aerate the soil and allow better water absorption
    • Efficient use of drainage systems
  • Nature-based measures (examples):
    • Adopting less intensive agricultural practices
    • Creating vegetated buffer strips or wetlands between cultivated land and watercourse
    • Enhancing agricultural biodiversity
    • Planting of trees, hedgerows….

Sources and Links

6 clean water and sanitation

The History of Drip Irrigation

Smart Farming: The Future of Agriculture

The Role of Smart Farming in Developing Sustainable Agriculture

G. T. Patle; Mukesh Kumar; Manoj Khanna: Climate-smart water technologies for sustainable agriculture: a review

SMART AGRICULTURE METHODS AND STRATEGY FOR FARMERS

Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI), Colorado State University

IRMAK, Suat, Subsurface Drip (SDI) (colostate.edu)

STAUFFER, Beat: Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Irrigation Water Management: Irrigation Water Needs

Water use efficiency fact sheet

Progress on change in water-use efficiency 

Sustainable water use in agriculture: CAP funds more likely to promote greater rather than more efficient water use

Water-Efficient Agriculture

Water Use Efficiency, zdroj

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Managing water sustainably is key to the future of food and agriculture

Making Every Drop Count

Sustainable Land Management

Precision agriculture

What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry is water-wise farming

Improving water-use efficiency

7 Solutions and Tools to Prevent Droughts and Minimize Their Risks

Jerry L. Hatfield and Christian Dold: Water-Use Efficiency: Advances and Challenges in a Changing Climate

CÍLEK, Václav: Zadržování vody v krajině od pravěku do dneška, Středisko společných činností AV ČR, Praha 2021

Jak zabránit odtoku vody z krajiny

CO JE AGROLESNICTVÍ? – Český spolek pro agrolesnictví (agrolesnictvi.cz)

Agrolesnictví – „znovuobjevení“ historického způsobu hospodaření a jeho možnosti dnes (asz.cz)

MARTINÍK, Antonín a kolektiv: Agrolesnictví, Skriptum pro posluchače MENDELU

Koncepce ochrany před následky sucha pro území České republiky

Voda pro zemědělství

VYUŽÍVÁNÍ VODY- Jak plýtvání surovinami ohrožuje vodní zásoby Země

Archiv Asociace soukromého zemědělství ČR

VUV TGM, MŽP ČR, MZE ČR: KATALOG PŘÍRODĚ BLÍZKÝCH OPATŘENÍ PRO ZADRŽENÍ VODY V KRAJINĚ, Praha 2018

AGRIWATER project has been funded with the support from the European Commission, with the reference number 2020-1-CZ01-KA204-078212. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Privacy Policy

At AGRIWATER we take the protection of your personal data very seriously. Our purpose is to protect the privacy of the data you provide us and to comply with the current regulations on the protection of personal data.

In compliance with the Act 3/2018 of 5 December on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights transposing Regulation (EU) 2016/679, we inform you of the following information about our privacy and data protection policy:

Who the controller of the processing of your data?

The organization responsible of your data is Asociace soukromeho zemedelstvi Ceske republiky, ID E10133738. This is a non-governmental organization located in Prague, Czech Republic.

Address
Samcova 1177/1
11000
Praha 1

Telephone
+420266710413
+420266710414

Email contact
marketa.sandova@asz.cz

What is the purpose of the treatment?
  • To respond to requests, complaints and incidents transferred through our contact channels incorporated in the website.
  • To understand the behaviour of the navigator within the web in order to detect possible computer attacks on our web.
  • Comply with legal obligations that are directly applicable to us and regulate our activity.
  • To protect and exercise our rights or to respond to complaints of any kind.
  • Submission of newsletters regarding the goods or services that make up the activity of the responsible person or news related to his activity.

 

What is the legal base of the treatment?

The legal basis for the treatment of your data is the consent of the data subject under article 6.1 a) of the Regulation, as well as the legitimate interest of the data controller under article 6.1 f) of the Regulation.

The data we request from you are adequate, relevant and strictly necessary and in no case are you obliged to provide them to us, but their non-communication may affect the purpose of the service or the impossibility of providing it.

For how long do we keep your data?

Your data will be kept for the time required for the proper provision of the service offered, as well as to meet the responsibilities that may arise from it and any other legal requirement.

Which recipients will receive your data?

In the course of processing your data, Asociace soukromeho zemedelstvi Ceske republiky may share your data with:

On Projects Advising SL, as web management and maintenance service providers.

What are my rights?
  • Right of access: the right to obtain confirmation of whether personal data is being processed, as well as the right of access to such data.
  • Right to rectification of personal data.
  • Right to erasure
  • Right to limitation of processing
  • Right to data portability
  • Right to object: the right to object to data being processed.

The controller retains the right to restrict the rights set forth in Article 23 of the EU Regulation, if such restriction is provided to safeguard, in particular fundamental rights and freedoms and is a necessary and proportionate measure.

Where can I make a complaint?

If any interested party considers that their data are not being treated correctly, they can send their complaints to the following e-mail address; kristyna.strnadova@asz.cz, Asociace soukromeho zemedelstvi Ceske republiky.

The data subject declares to have acquired all this information.

Cookies Policy

What are cookies?

A cookie is a file that is downloaded and executed on your computer, phone, or mobile device when you access certain web pages. Cookies allow a website, among other things, to store and retrieve information about user’s browsing habits and recognize the user depending on the information they contain and the way they use their computer.

Cookies do not harm your computer and are necessary to facilitate navigation.

What are cookies used for on our website?

Cookies are necessary for our website to work properly. The purpose of our cookies is to improve the user’s browsing experience. They can be used to remember your preferences (language, country, etc.) during navigation and on future visits.

The information collected in the Cookies also allows us to improve the website and adapt it to the individual interests of users, speed up searches, etc.

What types of cookies does our website use?

Analysis Cookies: These, if they are used properly by us or by third parties, allow us to quantify the number of users and thus perform the measurement and statistical analysis regarding the users’ usage of our service.

Advertising Cookies: These, if they are used properly by us or by third parties, allow us to manage as effectively as possible the supply of advertising space on the website, adapting the content of the advertisement to the content of the service requested or to the use you make of our website.

What we will NOT use cookies for

Our cookies do not store information about your personal identification, address, password, credit or debit card details, etc.

Who uses the information contained in these cookies?

The information stored in the website’s cookies is used exclusively by us, apart from those identified below as “third party cookies”, which are used and managed by external entities to provide us with services to improve our own services and the user’s experience when browsing our website.

Third party cookies are mainly used to obtain statistics and to guarantee the payment operations are carried out.

Can I prevent cookies from being used?

Yes, firstly, you must disable cookies in your browser and, secondly, delete the cookies stored in your browser associated with this website.

You can restrict, block, or delete cookies from this website at any time by modifying your browser settings. This setting is different for each browser. For more details on the configuration of cookies in your browser, please consult your browser’s “Help” menu.

It is possible that some of the website’s features may no longer work if you disable cookies.

List of cookies that our website uses
Technical and customization cookies

These Cookies are used to identify the user during the session, prevent the user from having to repeat authentication processes on the website, speed up some website processes, remember selections made during the session or on subsequent accesses, remember pages already visited, etc.

COOKIES

PURPOSE

DURATION

MANAGEMENT

User identification

They are used to identify and authenticate the user. They also contain technical data from the user session, such as connection timeout, session identifier, etc.

Session

AGRIWATER

Session identification

They identify the user’s http session. They are common in all web applications to identify requests from a user’s session.

Session

AGRIWATER

Navigation status

They help identify the user’s browsing status (login, first page, first access, scroll status, voting status, etc.).

Session

AGRIWATER

Navigation analysis cookies

These Cookies obtain generic information about users’ accesses to the website (not the content of the same) to subsequently provide us with information about these accesses for statistical purposes.

COOKIES

PURPOSE

DURATION

MANAGEMENT

Google Analytics (__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmd, __utmv, __utmz, _ga…)

They allow website statistic’s tracking through the Google Analytics tool, which is a service provided by Google to obtain information about user access to websites. Some of the data stored is: number of times a user visits the website, dates of the user’s first and last visit, duration of visits, from which page the user accessed the website, which search engine was used or which link was clicked, from which part of the world the user accessed the website, etc. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website will be directly transmitted and stored by Google Inc (a company located in United States). The configuration of these cookies is predetermined by the service offered by Google, so we suggest you consult the Google Analytics privacy page, for more information on the cookies it uses and how to disable them (keep in mind that we are not responsible for the content and accuracy of third-party websites).

Persistent

Third Parties