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Irrigation Water Management

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Water Management is the process of determining and controlling the volume, frequency, and application rate of irrigation water in a planned, efficient manner.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Why is Irrigation Water Management Important?
Manage soil moisture to promote desired crop response. Optimize the use of available water supplies. Minimize irrigation induced erosion. Decrease non-point source pollution of surface and groundwater resources. Manage salts in the crop root zone. Manage air, soil or plant micro-climate.
CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Minimum Documentation:
Crops to be Grown, Cropping Sequence and Soils Information. Volume of Water Needed per Irrigation and for the season. Application rate of irrigation water. Records Showing Date and Amount of Water Applied.
Include type of irrigation scheduling technique used by the client.

Evaluation of the Irrigation System Environmental Considerations

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Crop Consumptive Use (CU)
The amount of water used by the crop in transpiration and building of plant tissue, and that evaporated from adjacent soil or intercepted by plant foliage. It is expressed as depth in inches or as volume in acre inches per acre. It can represent the daily, design, monthly, or seasonal quantity of water needed for plant growth. Often referred to as Crop Evapotranspiration (ETc ).

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ) Crop Evapotranspiration (ETc ). Auxiliary water needs such as leaching, temperature modification and crop quality (Aw ). Effective precipitation (Pe ). Groundwater contribution (GW). Change in soil water content for the period of consideration (SW).

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn )

http://www.info.usda.gov/CED/ CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn )

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nrcsirrig/irrig-mgt-models.html

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn )

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn )
Evapotranspiration in Inches Crop Corn Silage Grass Pasture Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

0.00
0.00

0.00
0.00

0.00
1.46

0.00
3.31

1.22
4.53

4.17
5.24

7.13
6.22

5.91
5.28

1.14
4.02

0.00
2.48

0.00
0.43

0.00
0.00

Net Irrigation Water Requirements in Inches Crop Corn Silage Grass Pasture Jan 0.00 0.00 Feb 0.00 0.00 Mar 0.00 0.08 Apr 0.00 1.57 May 0.47 3.15 Jun 3.62 4.57 Jul 7.13 6.22 Aug 5.83 5.12 Sep 1.06 3.46 Oct 0.00 0.87 Nov 0.00 0.00 Dec 0.00 0.00

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ), Auxiliary Water Needs for Salinity Management
Soils in arid areas have the potential to become saline or sodic. Saline or sodic soils will cause poor seed germination and reduced yields. Additional water must be added to soils with a potential to have saline or sodic problems to leach excess salts. Where the soluble salt content of wastewater is high enough to cause problems, the wastewater must be diluted with good quality water or applications must be limited.
CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ), Auxiliary Water Needs for Salinity Management

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ), Auxiliary Water Needs for Salinity Management

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ), Auxiliary Water Needs for Salinity Management ETc Aw = (1/Lr 1)
where:
Aw = Auxiliary Water Needs for Salinity Management in inches. ETc = Seasonal Crop Evapotranspiration in inches. Lr = Leaching Requirement from Figure 2-33 of the NRCS National Engineering Handbook, Part 623, Chapter 2 - Irrigation Water Requirements.
November 16-18, 2004

CNMP Development Course

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ), Contribution of Ground Water (GW)

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (Fn ) Fn = ETc + Aw Pe GW - SW
where:
ETc = Crop evapotranspiration in inches Aw = Auxiliary water needs for leaching, temperature modification, crop quality in inches. Pe = Effective precipitation in inches GW = Estimated contribution from ground water in inches. SW = Change in soil water content for the period considered.
CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

http://soils.usda.gov/

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov/

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

What depth to use in computing AWC?

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

Given:
Silty Clay Loam Soil Soil Depth = 3 feet AWC = 0.20 in/in from 0 to 24 inches of soil depth 0.10 in/in from 24 to 36 inches of soil depth Managed Crop Rooting Depth = 4 feet

What is the total plant available soil water capacity for the crop being grown?

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Available Water Capacity of Soils (AWC)

Determine total plant available soil water capacity:


Use 3 feet to determine total plant AWC since the soil depth is less than the managed crop rooting depth. AWC = 0.20 in/in x 24 inches = 4.8 inches 0.10 in/in x 12 inches = 1.2 inches Total Plant AWC = 6.0 inches

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Management Allowed Depletion (MAD)

MAD is defined as the percentage of the available soil water that can be depleted between irrigations without serious plant moisture stress. MAD is expressed as: a percentage of the total Plant Available Water Capacity (AWC), a soil-water deficit (SWD) in inches, or an allowable soil-water tension level.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Management Allowed Depletion (MAD)

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Application (Fa ) based on Plant AWC: Fa =
where:

MAD * Plant AWC 100%

Fa = Net Irrigation Application in inches MAD = Moisture Allowed Depletion in percent(50% for Corn Silage) Plant AWC = PlantAvailable Water Capacity of soils (6 inches)

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Net Irrigation Application (Fa ) based on Plant AWC for Corn Silage: 50% * 6 inches 100% Fa = 3 inches Use this value

Fa =

Net Irrigation Application (Fa ) based on Net Irrigation Requirement (Fn ):

Fa = 7.13 inches for Corn Silage Fa = 6.22 inches for Pasture

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation System Capacity Requirements Q = 453 * A * d f * H

where:

Q = flow rate (gpm) A = area (acres) d = gross application depth (in) f = irrigation frequency (days) H = hours of operation per day

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Gross Irrigation Application Requirements d= Fa Ea

where:
d = Gross application, inches Fa = Net application, inches Ea = Application efficiency of the irrigation system

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Gross Irrigation Application Requirements
Irrigation System
SurfaceGraded Furrow and Corrugations Graded Border Level Border and Basins Contour Ditch SprinklerPeriodic Move Lateral Stationary Big Gun Traveling Big Gun Center Pivot Linear or Lateral Move MicroMini Spray, Bubbler, Drip, and Inline

Application Efficiency
50-70% 50-80% 50-90% 40-60% 60-85% 50-75% 55-77% 75-88% 80-90% 85-90%

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Gross Irrigation Application Requirements
Use a net irrigation application (Fa ) of 3.00 inches. A traveling big gun irrigator with an application efficiency of 60% will be used to irrigate the Corn Silage and Pasture.

d=

3.0 inches x 100% 60%

d = 5 inches

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation System Capacity Requirements Q = 453 * A * d f * H

where:

Q = flow rate (gpm) A = area to be irrigated is 40 acres d = gross application depth is 5 inches f = irrigation frequency (days) H = hours of operation per day

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation Frequency (f): f = MAD x Plant AWC
Daily ETc

where:

MAD = Management Allowed Depletion (%). Plant AWC = Plant Available Water Capacity (inches). Daily ETc = Daily Evapotranspiration or Consumptive Use for the crop being grown (inches/day).

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation Frequency (f):
where:
MAD = 50% for Corn Silage Plant AWC = 6.0 inches Daily ETc = Daily Evapotranspiration or Consumptive Use for Corn Silage in inches Daily ETc = 7.13 inches for July 31 days

Daily ETc = 0.23 in/day

f =

50% x 6.0 inches 100% x 0.23 in/day

f = 13 Days
CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation System Capacity Requirements Q = 453 * A * d f * H

where:

Q = flow rate (gpm) A = area to be irrigated is 40 acres d = gross application depth is 5.0 inches f = irrigation frequency is 13 days H = 16 hours of operation per day is desired by the client.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation System Capacity Requirements Q = 453 * 40 acres * 5.0 inches 13 days * 16 hours/day Q = 436 gpm or 0.97 cfs
Note: The existing or planned irrigation system must be able to supply 436 gpm and irrigate the 40 acres of Corn Silage every 13 days to meet the crop evapotranspiration needs during the peak water use period.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Determining Volume of Water Needed
Irrigation System Capacity Requirements

< I = 0.43 in/hr

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Scheduling

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Scheduling
Important factors to keep in mind when developing a irrigation scheduling tool for a client: The scheduling tool must consider information about the crop, soil, climate, irrigation system, water deliveries and management objectives.

An irrigation scheduling tool needs only be accurate enough to determine how much water to apply and when. A good rule of thumb to follow when developing an irrigation scheduling tool is to keep it simple and easy for the client to understand.
CNMP Development Course November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Scheduling

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation System Evaluation

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation System Evaluation
Irrigation system evaluation is the analysis of any irrigation system and management based on measurements taken in the field under normal conditions and management. There are three levels of irrigation system evaluations that can be performed: Simplified Abbreviated Detailed

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation System Evaluation
There are 3 levels of Irrigation System Evaluations:
Simplified This type of evaluation provides enough information to the landowner/operator to make management and operation decisions. This evaluation usually takes a few hours to complete. Abbreviated This type of evaluation provides enough information for the landowner/operator to make management and operation decisions plus identify any problems with the system. This evaluation takes a half to full day to complete. Detailed This type of evaluation provides the landowner/ operator with a report and a comprehensive irrigation system operation and maintenance plan. This evaluation can take up to one to five days to complete.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation System Evaluation

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Water Management Jobsheet

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Water Management Jobsheet

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Water Management Jobsheet

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Irrigation Water Management Jobsheet

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Learning Exercise
Refer to the packet of materials in your course notebook for the learning exercise.

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004

Irrigation Water Management


Thank You!
Bruce Wilson Environmental Engineer/PE

Portland, Oregon
(503) 414-3076 bwilson@wcc.nrcs.usda.gov

CNMP Development Course

November 16-18, 2004