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Basin-Wide Water Management Concepts for the New Millennium

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

Citation:  Paper number  012051,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.3822) @2001
Authors:   Wayne Clyma, M. S. Shafique
Keywords:   irrigation water management, salinity management, water budget

The concept is that water management improvements in an irrigated valley cannot save water for other uses. This concept is based upon erroneous assumptions, and therefore untrue. Water management improvements reduce the demand at the field. Reduced demand can be transferred up the system and results in less water being released at the reservoir. Reduced demand is water saved that can be used to replace return flows with the remaining water available for reallocation to other uses. The water saved has an effective value much greater than the actual value of the return flows because of its low salinity as well as other potential benefits. Budget applications in Egypt and Pakistan suggest water available for reallocation could easily range between 25 and 50% of the current annual supply for irrigation in these water short valleys. New management strategies should be developed, tested and implemented for an irrigated valley that enhance water supply, reduce the impacts of salinity, and limit the environmental impacts of irrigation. Water management improvements also offer the opportunity to improve substantially the productivity of irrigated agriculture to meet growing urgent food demands.

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