UNDERSTANDING WATER RELATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION

G.A. Abu Rumman
Depleting fresh water resources is threatening the sustainability of agriculture in many countries and it is becoming crucial to protect water stocks and its quality. We discuss new advances in the measurement of water fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. This empirical knowledge will enable us to develop in-enterprise practices and resource-management policies to protect water quantity and water quality across our diverse landscapes. The need for precise irrigation guidelines is acute, in particular where shortage in fresh water resources is escalating. Irrigation can be a sustainable practice, however, poor irrigation management practices cause environmental problems. Irrigation recommendations in arid and semi-arid environment generalize to irrigate frequently, however, such generalization is not adequate. Alternatively an accurate estimation of soil water content and plant water use are critical to develop specific irrigation recommendations and guidelines. The use of real-time monitoring (10-min interval between field measurements) will assist in scheduling the irrigation system and preventing salt accumulation to a level which exceeds the threshold of the particular plant. Such systems are ideal for efficient in-situ field monitoring of soil salinity with minimal disturbance to the soil profile. At a selected depth, sensors can monitor salinity with high accuracy over a long period of time. Plant monitoring instruments can specifically target three fundamental areas of plant science: water use, water stress and growth rates. Stem psychrometers offer significant benefits over more common leaf hygrometers to measure the plant water potential, through the ease of attachment which minimizes energy balance disruptions that in turn improves measurement accuracy. A complete solution for weather and environmental monitoring has to be installed so that we can account for the evapotranspiration (ET) and develop a model to enable us to schedule the irrigation system. These techniques allow us to measure plant-effective water streams. Sensors are very useful for the calibration and validation of water-balance models which in return can save water by up to 38% when using the direct innovative technology.
Abu Rumman, G.A. (2014). UNDERSTANDING WATER RELATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 1054, 169-174
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1054.19
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1054.19
arid and semi-arid environment, soil moisture, salinity, plant water use, plant water potential
English

Acta Horticulturae