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Modeling Deficit Irrigation Water Productivity as a Function of Crop Root Depth

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008942.(doi:10.13031/2013.29766)
Authors:   Musa N Nimah, Musa N Nimah
Keywords:   Deficit irrigation, evapotranspiration, water use efficiency, water productivity.

Water scarcity is becoming a severe problem under arid and semi-arid regions. This water scarcity is due to increase in population growth and standards of living. These factors also affected negatively the availability of agricultural land and the reduction in water resources. Add to that the misunderstanding by the end users of the concept of soil-water-plant-atmosphere relationship. Therefore, it is a must to increase the water use efficiency and water productivity in agriculture, since irrigation of crops consume more than 75% of the water resource in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to achieve the improvement of water use efficiency, and to meet the goal of high demand on food and fiber, it is important to model the relation between crop root distribution and extraction and evapotranspiration utilizing the weather data and the soil properties. The food and agriculture organization (FAO) had developed a computer model/ CropWat (FAO, 1998) to calculate crop evapotranspiration based on Penman-Monteith modified equation and crop factor. This model takes into consideration deficit irrigation in general, but did not consider the root distribution and the absorption of the water among each segment of the root depth.

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