Nongrowing Season ET from Irrigated Fields

by James L. Wright, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Kimberly, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


The evaporative loss of water from agricultural fields during the nongrowing season is an important component of the annual water balance of irrigated lands. This study was conducted to measure daily ET from clipped grass and fallow fields from October through March and to compare the ET with precipitation received during the same period. Two weighing lysimeters near Kimberly, Idaho, were used to measure daily ET for six nongrowing seasons, from 1985 through 1991. ET averaged about 1 mm/day during the 6-month season, and total ET exceeded precipitation except for the 1985-86 period. ET from the grass lysimeter exceeded that from the mostly fallow lysimeter in early fall while the reverse was true during later winter. The results indicate that there is little, if any, potential for a net increase in stored soil water during the nongrowing season when fields receive an early or mid-fall irrigation in southern Idaho.

Subject Headings: Seasonal variations | Irrigation | Irrigation water | Measuring instruments | Evaporation | Water leakage and water loss | Vegetation | Precipitation | Idaho | United States

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