Attainable Irrigation Efficiencies

by Lyman S. Willardson, Agric. Engr.; Imperial Valley Conservation Res. Ctr., Brawley, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 239-246

Document Type: Journal Paper


Irrigation efficiency has many definitions. The concept appeared in print as early as 1887 expressed as duty of water. Later definitions are outlined. The efficiencies of water application for purposes other than refilling the rootzone have been mentioned but not described. The irrigation efficiency analyzed in detail is water application efficiency, defined as the percent of applied water that appears stored in the rootzone. Physical, economic, and political factors that affect water application efficiency are presented. Examples of water application efficiencies attainable in the field by surface, sprinkler, and trickle irrigation are given. Water application efficiencies are shown to be primarily affected by uniformity of water distribution and the proportion of water applied that can be stored in the rootzone.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Water storage | Vegetation | Irrigation | Terminology and definition | Economic factors | Political factors | Surface irrigation

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