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Water requirements, irrigation evaluation and efficiency in Tenerife's crops (Canary Islands, Spain)




Paladino, Dan, author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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This study, carried out between October 2004 and November 2005 on the island of Tenerife, covers: (1) characterization of the irrigated crops and quantification of the gross irrigation requirements (GIRs) of each crop using surveys; (2) field evaluation of drip/micro, spray and sprinkle irrigation systems to obtain global distribution uniformity (DU) as indicated by the Cal Poly ITRC (Irrigation Training and Research Centre, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, USA); (3) analysis of on farm irrigation efficiency using local climatic data; and (4) inclusion of this data into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Crop GIRs show high deviations mainly because of the multiple microclimate conditions on the island, the irrigation methods used, the crop systems (greenhouses, etc.) and the irrigation management. Field evaluation provided an average DU of 0.83 in drip/micro and spray irrigated banana crops, 0.69 in sprinkle irrigated ones, 0.58 in sprinkle irrigated horticulture and 0.81 for tomato crops (100% drip). Data showed that approximately 30% of the non-uniformity was due to pressure differences in the irrigation system, 3% due to unequal drainage, 7% due to unequal application rates, and 60% was due to other causes (which include manufacturing variation, plugging, and wear). Irrigation efficiency is around 80% in drip irrigated tomato and banana crops and 75% in sprinkle systems. Data showed that efficiency is slightly lower in greenhouses and mesh greenhouse crops than in non-protected crops basically due to the fact that although protected crops require less water, they receive an equal quantity of water. Inclusion of the data into a GIS makes possible a high level of agronomic water consumption control on the island.


Presented at the Role of irrigation and drainage in a sustainable future: USCID fourth international conference on irrigation and drainage on October 3-6, 2007 in Sacramento, California.

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