Water Quality Treatment

Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture by Christopher J Barrow

By Christopher J Barrow

An creation to runoff agriculture - a sort of agricultural irrigation - this article describes how using floor and subsurface water, usually ignored and wasted, allows either small farmers and advertisement agriculturists to enhance yields and the protection of harvest, even in harsh and distant environments. The textual content introduces the suggestions and methods, in addition to the demanding situations and the possibility of the the most important procedure, that may give a contribution quite a bit to lowering land degradation and bettering conservation and sustainability.

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Additional info for Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture

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In addition, runoff agriculture often uses locally available materials and hand labour, so it can be adopted with little risk of dependence, may spread with limited outside aid and is adaptive. With food production in many developing countries falling, land degradation increasing and uncertainty about future climate changes as a consequence of global warming, runoff agriculture will become much more important. Runoff agriculture had had much less support than mainstream irrigation, in terms of research expenditure, investment in implementation and in extension services.

To sustain agriculture demands, at the very least, adequate moisture, maintenance of soil fertility, avoidance of salinization, prevention of excessive erosion, and control of pests and diseases. Runoff agriculture can do these things in localities where rain-fed agriculture is either not viable or is insufficiently productive or insecure, and where mainstream irrigation would be difficult or uneconomic. The distinction between rain-fed and runoff agriculture is often blurred, as is the difference between flood and wetland agriculture and lift or pump irrigation; often more than one strategy is practiced together.

SWC offers an accessible route to intensifying cropping, livestock rearing or forestry even for smallholders in difficult environments (Tato and Hurni, 1992). It is also possible to achieve SWC through agroforestry, which establishes a vegetation cover that does not return too much moisture to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration and which retards runoff, conserving soils and improving infiltration (Young, 1989). SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION IN PRACTICE Well-constructed and managed SWC systems can function for centuries and are one of the few proven routes to sustainable agriculture.

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