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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0304,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15750)
Authors:   B. M. Khalil, S, T. Abdel-Gawad, J. A. Millette
Keywords:   Controlled drainage, Water management, Rice production, Nile Delta

The need for water resources management evolves when water becomes scarce. In arid regions like Egypt, where the water resources are limited, a gap exists between the supply and the gradually increased demands. The agriculture sector is using more than 80% of the available water to irrigate approximately 3.3 million ha. The Irrigation Improvement Program (IIP) was designed and implemented in the early 1980 to involve farmers in the management of the irrigation water system at the farm level. At the same time, attention was given to manage the drainage water at some experimental rice fields. After the crop liberalization policy in 1992, the controlled drainage systems were implemented in some pilot areas.

In this paper, a field study is presented to compare between the rice production and the water requirements under two drainage management practices. Four plots were selected in the Balakter area located in the northern part of the western Delta of Egypt. Two plots were under conventional drainage and two under controlled drainage systems. The farmers managed the rice plots without interference from the study team, who monitored the depth to water table, measured irrigation water quantities, soil salinity and crop yield.

Results showed that the drainage system scheme, controlled versus conventional system, had no significant effect on the rice production or the soil salinity. However, the water requirement under the controlled drainage system is 25% less than that required under conventional system. Another advantage of the controlled drainage system is time saving for the farmers.

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