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Assessing the use of wetting front detectors in water management at Dzindi Small Small Scale Irrigation Scheme in Limpopo Province

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dc.contributor.advisor Gumbo, J. R.
dc.contributor.advisor M'Marette, C. K.
dc.contributor.author Maduwa, Khathutshelo
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-20T07:11:32Z
dc.date.available 2017-07-20T07:11:32Z
dc.date.issued 2017-04-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/736
dc.description MESHWR
dc.description Department of Hydrology and Water Resources
dc.description.abstract Irrigation uses the largest amount of water, estimating to 60 % of the total consumption in South Africa. For this reason, the efficient and reasonable use of water by irrigators is of paramount importance. Thus, this study was carried out to assess the suitability of Wetting Front Detectors (WFDs) in improving water management. The study involved an on-farm survey; field installations; testing of WFD technology on selected plots within the scheme; identification of the crops grown; documentation of the current water supply and documentation of the challenges faced by farmers in relation to irrigation. These were carried out to identify the ideal situations in the scheme. Irrigation scheduling helps farmers to know when to irrigate and amount of water required supplying for crop need. The study presented WFD, as a means of improving irrigation efficiency. The WFD is a simple tool that helps farmers to identify what is occurring around the root zone. Four plots with a representative farmer in each of the plot were identified in four Blocks (Block 1 farmer 1, Block 1 farmer 2; Block 2 farmer 1; Block 3 farmer 1 and Block 4 farmer 1). On-farm experiment of the WFD was carried out. However, with Block 4 farmer 1, insufficient data was collected due to absence of LongStop equipment. This also involved field installation, observation and measurements of the LongStops (LSs) and FullStops (FSs) WFDs at placement depth of 30 cm, 45 cm and 60 cm. The efficiency of an irrigation system depends on different performance indicators including Irrigation Efficiency (IE), Conveyance Efficiency (CE), Application Efficiency (AE), Storage Efficiency (SE), Distribution Uniformity (DU) and Coefficient uniformity (CU). In this study, attention was focused only on DU; CU and SE, as represented by water moisture availability. All the DU for all plots in blocks were below the standard DU of furrow, which is 65%. Farmer 2, in Block 1, had a higher DU and CU, which were 60% and 68%, respectively- considered closer to the standard DU value. For the other farmers, their DU and CU prior to irrigation were very low, which indicated that there was uneven distribution of water in these plots. The poor DU in Block 1 farmer 1, indicated by the uneven infiltrated water, resulted in excessive watering. Analysing the WFD showed that farmers were performed well in all the Blocks, except for farmer 1 in Block 1. Average soil moisture content result indicated high water loss through deep percolation. The highest volumes of water recorded before and after irrigation were 131 ml and 159 ml, respectively, for LS90 placed at a depth of 90 cm in Block 2 farmer 1. High volumes of water were collected in Block 1 farmer 2, Block 2 farmer 1 and Block 3 farmer 1 before and after irrigation. The result showed that, the more placement depth down the soil profile, the more accumulation of water in the LSs. Therefore, it was recommended that farmers continue to use the WFD as a tool for irrigation efficiency. However, there is need for improvement and capacity building in using the tool. en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiii, 90 leaves : illustrations (some color) maps (some color))
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Irrigation scheduling en_US
dc.subject water use efficiency en_US
dc.subject Wetting front detector en_US
dc.subject Small holder irrigation scheme en_US
dc.subject On farm water management en_US
dc.subject.ddc 631.5870968257
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation water -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation -- Management
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation -- Equipment and supplies
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation efficiency -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation scheduling -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Water in agriculture -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Water -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Assessing the use of wetting front detectors in water management at Dzindi Small Small Scale Irrigation Scheme in Limpopo Province en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US


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