Scientific research

Improved elements of technique and technology of surface irrigation on land with steep slopes

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

The rational setup of discharging irrigation furrows and temporary sprinklers, and the improved technology of surface irrigation provide high uniformity of soil moisture distribution along the length of furrows and high efficiency of irrigation without erosion.

Brief summary of technology:

The surface irrigation (by furrows, strip irrigation) in Kyrgyzstan is the most widespread. But on steep slopes (0.008 … 0.10) this irrigation approach is extremely dangerous due to the development of erosion processes. On steep slopes, the concentrated irrigation stream gathers considerable speed (>0.4 m/sec) and thoroughly destroys a surface soil layer, washing away up to 20 … 50 t/ha of the fertile soil.

To solve a problem of sloping land irrigation, it is recommended to make irrigation furrows with a depth of 20 … 25 cm with a certain erosion-safe slope (close to the field border, i.e. across dominating slope) within 0.005 … 0.007. The length of a furrow can be up to 80 m, and the irrigation water discharge into a furrow can thus be up to 0.3 l/sec.

After completing of all agrotechnical measures on irrigated fields, planned works of preparation of irrigating network to irrigation are carried out, distribution channels and temporary irrigation ditches are prepared, discharging and irrigation furrows are made.

Recommendations of the rational setup of discharging, irrigation furrows and temporary irrigation ditches, and improved technology of surface irrigation include: irrigation on sowing furrows; irrigation on closed-end furrows; discrete-impulse irrigation and improvement of strip irrigation by the regulated strips.

Location: “Kenenbay“ farm, Sokuluk district, Chuy province.

Area of technology application: 10 ha.

Stage of intervention: prevention / mitigation of land degradation.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

During irrigation of sloping land huge irrigation water  losses for runoff, erosive processes are developed that causes soil degradation.

Main technical features of technology:

Decrease in surface runoff and soil leaching during irrigation, erosion prevention.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated arable land.

Production of annual crops - Во(Ca).

Agronomic measures:

A1: Vegetation / soil cover;

A3: Processing of soil surface.



Average annual rainfall: 422-616 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 800-1200 m.

Landscape: foothill.

Slope (%): 7-15%.

Soil fertility: moderate.

Humus content in arable horizon: in average 1.5%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: lower.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 2-5 ha.

Landholder: small/middle sized, mixed.

Land ownership: arable land - 75% individual and 25% state; state pastures.

Water use rights: through WUAs and organizations responsible for management of irrigation systems on relevant payment.

Market orientation: subsistence farming (self sufficiency), free market.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- reduction of erosive processes;

- saving of irrigating water;

- increase of productivity of agricultural crops.

Main disadvantages:

- additional expenses (leveling, installation of water  measuring constructions, reinforcing of furrow

heads) are required.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: a trend of increase of implementation of this technology is observed.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database and reports of the Kyrgyz Scientific Research Institute of Irrigation.

Name of person(s) collected this description: Naloychenko A., leading research associate; Atakanov A., head of lab of irrigation and soil - erosive research. Kyrgyz Scientific Research Institute of Irrigation.

Address: 4А, Toktonaliyev str., Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Tel.: +996 (312) 541 171.





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