Water Management of Irrigated-Drained Fields in the Jordan Valley South of Lake Kinneret

G. Sinai, P. K. Jain
2005 Journal of irrigation and drainage engineering  
The Jordan Valley is one of the primary regions for growing winter crops of fruit and vegetables in Israel and Jordan. Control of water management in these fields is obtained by solid-set irrigation systems and subsurface drainage. Detailed field observations were conducted at a location near the Jordan River, south of Lake Kinneret. Water table heights were measured by approximately 100 piezometers. An exiting wide spacing ͑160 m͒ subsurface drainage system was monitored and the total drainage
more » ... the total drainage discharge from this regional drainage system to Lake Kinneret was measured. Rainfall, irrigation, and evapotranspiration rates were measured and overall hydrological balance was conducted. The old irrigation method in the region was border irrigation with very high leaching fraction and poor irrigation efficiency. During the 1970s the irrigation method was changed to computer operated drip irrigation. The leaching fraction was reduced and irrigation efficiency increased. Reduction of the total drainage discharge to Lake Kinneret by a factor of about 10 was observed. Water table rise under hand moving sprinkler and soil-set drip irrigation methods were measured and compared for assessment of salinization of the root zone by upward movement of groundwater. The result indicates the strong effect of irrigation time interval on the extent of these rises. The effect of irrigation mode on the extent of water table rises was measured at the field by comparing that under hand moving sprinkler irrigation to that under water solid set drip method. This effect depends, among other variables, on the irrigation time interval, a fact which complicates prediction of water table rise under different irrigation practices. These field results support previous theoretical analysis by the writers and highlighted the interrelationship between irrigation practice and drainage design. The effect of water table drawdown towards the Jordan River was monitored and found to be about 4.6%. The strong influence of the Jordan River on water table height at the drained field is magnified by the existence of sandy layers in the soil profile. This observed gradient may be used for the estimation of lateral seepage flow from the irrigated agricultural field towards the adjacent Jordan River. This study provides a useful source of data for future studies in similar situations.
doi:10.1061/(asce)0733-9437(2005)131:4(364) fatcat:izswulqmmrhrnk34k6tfhkinny