Farmers have been irrigating their crops for centuries. Recently, a water management system in agriculture called irrigation brought advantages. Irrigation can increase farming productivity and reduce environmental impact. Yet, it can also lead to soil erosion, water pollution, and various problems when farmers can not manage it. Agriculture accounts for 70% of the world's freshwater withdrawals. Of this, irrigations use 60%. While livestock, aquaculture, and industry use 10%. Hence, proper irrigation for sustainable water management systems in agriculture is best for:
Ensure that plants have enough water to grow and produce a good yield.
Help maintain soil moisture and prevents the soil from drying out.
Cut excessive water usage.
Reduce the amount of runoff and soil erosion.
Improve the quality of production.
Moreover, there are many ways to improve the water management system in agriculture. For instance, use the proper irrigation method, monitor water use, and create a water management plan.
A sustainable water management system is beneficial for crop quality and the environment. The following are tips to get started sustainable water management system:
There are a variety of irrigation systems in agriculture. And it is vital to select the appropriate method for the specific situation. For example, the furrow irrigation system is well-suited for row crops. Meanwhile, the trickle irrigation system is ideal for hilly terrain. Besides, the calibrated irrigation system can deliver the correct number of water to the crops. Over-watering or under-watering can both be detrimental to the crops. In the same way, here are other types of the water management system:
Centre pivot irrigation. In a spiral manner atop wheeled poles, the sprinklers distribute the water.
Lateral move irrigation. Pipes equipped with a wheel and a set of sprinkles supply water. Farmers can control manually or automatically by the system.
Sub-irrigation. Water splashed across the land by pumping stations, canals, gates, and ditches to raise the water level.
The availability of water for agriculture is a limiting factor in many parts of the world. Recently, researchers have developed and tested rainfall patterns for agriculture. Too, it is critical to understand the quantity and quality of rainfall available. Farmers can have a better schedule crop and receive the most beneficial raindrops. It can also improve the quality of yield and increase production.
Farmers can tailor micro-irrigation to almost every planting type. They also can put in place climate zone on a wide range of terrain. Micro-irrigation can cultivate crop production to expand into areas with problematic soils. Either it is very low or very high infiltration rates. It can also reduce salt-affected soil and poor water quality caused by inaccessibility.
A vast plantation such as a palm oil plantation needs more water. It is also challenging and costly to measure. So, it takes a different treatment to consume less water, treat reused water waste, and use water. Precision agriculture technology, Bathymetric LIDAR, is a solution. Bathymetric LIDAR technology can track the irrigation progress and drainage distribution channels. To illustrate, here is the video about the use of bathymetry for precision agriculture with USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicles).
To sum up, proper irrigation is necessary for sustainable water management in agriculture. Appropriate water system control can help farmers increase crop production and quality. Besides, advancing bathymetry technology enables medium and large agribusinesses can simplify their farming.