A simple and farmer-friendly decision support system for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture: tool development, testing and validation

Garg, K K and Wani, S P and Patil, M D (2016) A simple and farmer-friendly decision support system for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture: tool development, testing and validation. Current Science, 110 (09). pp. 1716-1729. ISSN 0011-3891

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In the semi-arid tropics (SAT) farmers practice calendar- based irrigation scheduling, which generally results in over irrigation and poor water use efficiency. The lack of a simple decision tool to decide timing and quantity of water to be applied is a bottleneck. An Excel-based decision support system termed Water Impact Calculator (WIC) is developed using data collected at the ICRISAT, which were validated at three pilot sites on farmers’ fields in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Telangana. Field studies were conducted under two land-form treatments (broad bed and furrow (BBF) and flat fields); and irrigation water was applied following two different methods (drip and flood). The data collected at micro-watershed at the ICRISAT and three other sites showed that WIC could be used under wide range of soil and rainfall conditions. WIC simulated soil moisture was comparable with the observed moisture data, which forms the basis of irrigation scheduling. The WIC-based water balance at these experimental sites showed that number and amount of irrigation could be reduced by 30–40% using WIC-based irrigation scheduling without compromising the crop yield. The WIC could be a potential tool for water resources planning and efficient management at the field and watershed scale in the SAT.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumptive water use, Semi-arid tropics, Water impact calculator, Irrigation scheduling, Water balance, Decision support system, Water use, Agriculture
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 06:27
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 08:39
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9497
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18520/cs/v110/i9/1716-1729
Acknowledgement: We thank the team at the ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) and Resilient Dryland Systems (RDS), ICRISAT, India for collecting and providing historical research data and their support. We are grateful to Sustainable Agriculture Initiative platform for providing research grant for developing WIC during 2010– 11. We acknowledge consortium partners, BAIF and DEEP NGOs and farmers for conducting field experiments and collecting research data at Tonk, Ranga Reddy and Jamnagar. Support of Jain Irrigation Private Ltd in installing drip irrigation system in farmers’ fields is acknowledged. Funding support for analysing data and preparing manuscript from CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems are duly acknowledged.This article is part of a special edition on Soil and Water Management (Volume 110, Issue - 09, May 10, 2016)
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