Development and Application of a Predictive Model for Treated Wastewater Irrigation Management in a Semiarid Area

Dragonetti, Giovanna and Khadra, Roula and Daccache, André and Oubelkacem, Abdellah and Choukrallah, Redouane (2020) Development and Application of a Predictive Model for Treated Wastewater Irrigation Management in a Semiarid Area. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management . ISSN 1551-3793
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The use of treated wastewater (TWW) as an alternative resource to fresh water (FW) for irrigation purposes is becoming increasingly important, especially in semiarid and arid regions. However, achieving success in crop production largely depends on the adoption of appropriate on‐farm management strategies aimed at optimizing crop yields, maintaining soil productivity and safeguarding the environment. For this purpose, predictive models are of particular interest. A safe irrigation management (SIM) model developed and tested in this research was used to schedule irrigation under controlled management tailored to the use of 1) TWW and 2) FW and to reproduce farmers' strategies. These management strategies aim to improve actual irrigation practices, accounting for water quality, soil characteristics, and crop yield. The results of the application of SIM on a citrus farm in Souss‐Massa, Morocco, show that the management strategy adopted by farmers withdraws considerable amounts of water and results in substantial drainage volumes compared to those in the SIM strategy. In the specific case of TWW, the strategy simulated by the SIM model resulted in a decrease in yield of approximately 4%, compared to the 23% decrease derived from the farmers' traditional strategy. Moreover, SIM allowed for great savings in terms of fertilizing elements and for the reduction in the movement of water and salts beyond the root zone, usually considered the main source of groundwater contamination. These results confirm the appropriateness of using prediction models and the accuracy of the SIM model in adapting irrigation strategies to TWW, which will be an integral part of the strategies that encourage their use in irrigated agriculture.

Document type
Dragonetti, GiovannaCIHEAM - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari
Khadra, RoulaCIHEAM - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari0000-0003-2117-1557
Daccache, AndréUniversity of California, Davis, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Oubelkacem, AbdellahCIHEAM - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari; Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II
Choukrallah, RedouaneInstitut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II0000-0002-9754-798X
SIM model, Water scarcity, Soil salinity, Morocco, Citrus
Deposit date
12 Oct 2020 10:03
Last modified
28 Feb 2021 22:00
Project name
MADFORWATER - DevelopMent AnD application of integrated technological and management solutions FOR wasteWATER treatment and efficient reuse in agriculture tailored to the needs of Mediterranean African Countries
Funding program
EC - H2020

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