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Irrigation scheduling strategies for cotton to cope with water scarcity in the Fergana Valley, Central Asia


  • Pereira, L.S.
  • Paredes, P.
  • Sholpankulov, E.D.
  • Inchenkova, O.P.
  • Teodoro, P.R.
  • Horst, M.G.


The Central Asian countries face high water scarcity due to aridity and desertification but excess water is often applied to the main irrigated crops. This over-irrigation contributes to aggravate water scarcity problems. Improved water saving irrigation is therefore required, mainly through appropriate irrigation scheduling. To provide for it, after being previously calibrated and validated for cotton in the Fergana region, the irrigation scheduling simulation model ISAREG was explored to simulate improved irrigation scheduling alternatives. Results show that using the present irrigation scheduling a large part of the applied water, averaging 20%, percolates out of the root zone. Several irrigation strategies were analyzed, including full irrigation and various levels of deficit irrigation. The analysis focused a three-year period when experiments for calibration and validation of the model were carried out, and a longer period of 33 years that provided for an analysis considering the probabilities of the demand for irrigation water. The first concerned a wet period while the second includes a variety of climatic demand conditions that provided for analyzing alternative schedules for average, high and very high climatic demand. Results have shown the importance of the groundwater contribution, mainly when deficit irrigation is applied. Analyzing several deficit irrigation strategies through the respective potential water saving, relative yield losses, water productivity and economic water productivity, it could be concluded that relative mild deficits may be adopted. Contrarily, the adoption of high water deficit that produce high water savings would lead to yield losses that may be economically not acceptable.

Suggested Citation

  • Pereira, L.S. & Paredes, P. & Sholpankulov, E.D. & Inchenkova, O.P. & Teodoro, P.R. & Horst, M.G., 2009. "Irrigation scheduling strategies for cotton to cope with water scarcity in the Fergana Valley, Central Asia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 723-735, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:5:p:723-735

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ertek, Ahmet & Kanber, Riza, 2003. "Effects of different drip irrigation programs on the boll number and shedding percentage and yield of cotton," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-11, April.
    2. Liu, Y. & Pereira, L.S. & Fernando, R.M., 2006. "Fluxes through the bottom boundary of the root zone in silty soils: Parametric approaches to estimate groundwater contribution and percolation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(1-2), pages 27-40, July.
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    4. Karam, Fadi & Lahoud, Rafic & Masaad, Randa & Daccache, Andre & Mounzer, Oussama & Rouphael, Youssef, 2006. "Water use and lint yield response of drip irrigated cotton to the length of irrigation season," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 287-295, October.
    5. Fortes, P.S. & Platonov, A.E. & Pereira, L.S., 2005. "GISAREG--A GIS based irrigation scheduling simulation model to support improved water use," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(1-3), pages 159-179, August.
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    1. Iqbal, M. Anjum & Shen, Yanjun & Stricevic, Ruzica & Pei, Hongwei & Sun, Hongyoung & Amiri, Ebrahim & Penas, Angel & del Rio, Sara, 2014. "Evaluation of the FAO AquaCrop model for winter wheat on the North China Plain under deficit irrigation from field experiment to regional yield simulation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 61-72.
    2. Hunsaker, D.J. & French, A.N. & Waller, P.M. & Bautista, E. & Thorp, K.R. & Bronson, K.F. & Andrade-Sanchez, P., 2015. "Comparison of traditional and ET-based irrigation scheduling of surface-irrigated cotton in the arid southwestern USA," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 209-224.
    3. Darouich, Hanaa & Gonçalves, José M. & Muga, André & Pereira, Luis S., 2012. "Water saving vs. farm economics in cotton surface irrigation: An application of multicriteria analysis," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 223-231.
    4. Andarzian, B. & Bannayan, M. & Steduto, P. & Mazraeh, H. & Barati, M.E. & Barati, M.A. & Rahnama, A., 2011. "Validation and testing of the AquaCrop model under full and deficit irrigated wheat production in Iran," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-8.
    5. Toumi, J. & Er-Raki, S. & Ezzahar, J. & Khabba, S. & Jarlan, L. & Chehbouni, A., 2016. "Performance assessment of AquaCrop model for estimating evapotranspiration, soil water content and grain yield of winter wheat in Tensift Al Haouz (Morocco): Application to irrigation management," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 219-235.
    6. Geerts, Sam & Raes, Dirk, 2009. "Deficit irrigation as an on-farm strategy to maximize crop water productivity in dry areas," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(9), pages 1275-1284, September.
    7. repec:eee:agiwat:v:207:y:2018:i:c:p:15-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fan, Yubing & Wang, Chenggang & Nan, Zhibiao, 2014. "Comparative evaluation of crop water use efficiency, economic analysis and net household profit simulation in arid Northwest China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 335-345.
    9. Xiangxiang, Wang & Quanjiu, Wang & Jun, Fan & Qiuping, Fu, 2013. "Evaluation of the AquaCrop model for simulating the impact of water deficits and different irrigation regimes on the biomass and yield of winter wheat grown on China's Loess Plateau," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 95-104.
    10. Jiang, Yao & Xu, Xu & Huang, Quanzhong & Huo, Zailin & Huang, Guanhua, 2016. "Optimizing regional irrigation water use by integrating a two-level optimization model and an agro-hydrological model," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 76-88.
    11. repec:eee:agiwat:v:207:y:2018:i:c:p:80-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Manel Ben Hassen & Federica Monaco & Arianna Facchi & Marco Romani & Giampiero Valè & Guido Sali, 2017. "Economic Performance of Traditional and Modern Rice Varieties under Different Water Management Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-10, February.
    13. Usman Awan & Bernhard Tischbein & Christopher Conrad & Christopher Martius & Mohsin Hafeez, 2011. "Remote Sensing and Hydrological Measurements for Irrigation Performance Assessments in a Water User Association in the Lower Amu Darya River Basin," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 25(10), pages 2467-2485, August.


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