“Floods are not always a hazard. They may also sustain aquatic life and riverine biodiversity, recharge aquifers, enrich soilds and in some of the world’s poorest areas they are the main source of irrigation.” — Global Water Partnership (2000) ‘Toward water security: a framework for action
Spate irrigation is the art and science of managing floods for irrigation. It is unique to arid and semi-arid environments, practiced in the Middle East, North Africa, West Asia, East Africa and parts of Latin America as a long tradition.
Soil Moisture Conservation is important to all agricultural systems. It is, however, especially important in areas irrigated by spate flows as (1) crops there grow during dry spells, using residual spate moisture long after the floods and (2) such areas have high evaporation rates and low rainfall.
In this presentation, Dr. Abraham Mehari Haile discusses Soil Moisture Conservation in spate irrigated agriculture, in the context of four important issues:
- Irrigation turns and gifts
- Water Rights and Rules
- Field Water Application Systems
- Field Bund Maintenance
- Enhancing moisture retention capacity and infiltration rate of the soil