Assessing the Global Water Productivity of Some Irrigation Command Areas in Iran

The great challenge of the agricultural sector is to produce more crop from less water, which can be achieved by increasing crop water productivity. The modernization of the irrigation systems offers a number of possibilities to expand the economic productivity of water and improve the virtual water status. The objective of the present study is to assess the global water productivity (GWP) within the major irrigation command areas of I.R. Iran. For this purpose, fourteen irrigation command areas where located in different areas of Iran were selected. In order to calculate the global water productivity of irrigation command areas, all data on the delivered water to cropping pattern, cultivated area, crops water requirement, and yield production rate during 2002-2006 were gathered. In each of the command areas it seems that the cultivated crops have a higher amount of virtual water and thus can be replaced by crops with less virtual water. This is merely suggested due to crop water consumption and at the time of replacing crops, economic value as well as cultural and political factors must be considered. The results indicated that the lowest GWP belongs to Mahyar and Borkhar irrigation areas, 0.24 kg m-3, and the highest is that of the Dez irrigation area, 0.81 kg m-3. The findings demonstrated that water management in the two irrigation areas is just efficient. The difference in the GWP of irrigation areas is due to variations in the cropping pattern, amount of crop productions, in addition to the effective factors in the water use efficiency in the irrigation areas.


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