Scientific research

Reclamative-moisture enhancing irrigation system (sub-irrigation)

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Reclamative - moisture enhancing, bilaterally functioning system provides irrigation of areas by a method of sub-irrigation.

Brief summary of technology:

Sub-irrigation is a way of moisture enhancing of the active root zone of plants through soil capillaries on areas with shallow, nonsaline groundwater.

Reclamative - moisture enhancing bilaterally functioning system provides timely removal of surplus water from a vadose zone during over-saturation (outside of plant growing period), and fills the moisture shortage during the drought period by a combination of regulation of a drainage discharge with moisture-replenishing irrigations (sprinkle or furrow irrigation) with small irrigation norms - within 100-200 m3/ha.

During sub-irrigation, wetting of aeration zone to 70-80% is reached by a capillary rise from groundwater at the established optimum level, and the lack of moisture (20-30%) is filled by applying moisturereplenishing surface irrigation.

Thus, the reclamative - moisture enhancing bilaterally functioning  system provides planned redistribution of natural moisture storage in the soil irrespective of weather conditions. Such systems allow to most fully operate water, air and food regimes of soils according to crop requirements.

Location: "Kainda" base site, Panfilov district.

Area of technology application: 100 ha.

Stage of intervention: alleviation / reduction of land degradation.

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

Non-uniform distribution of precipitation and high evapotranspiration rates during growing period on the reclamation sites creates unstable soil water regime, which limits the reception of high and stable yield of crops.

Main technical features of technology:

Regulation of a water-air regime.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Irrigated arable land.

Production of annual crops - Во(Ca).

Agronomic and irrigation methods.



Average annual rainfall: 350-400 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 800 m.

Landscape: typical for a thinning zone and shallow groundwater level.

Slope (%): 3%.

Soil fertility: high.

Humus content in arable horizon: 1.8-4.0%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 2-5 hа.

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 expenses to conduct surface irrigations;

- saving of irrigation water to 2558 m3/ha;

- 1.4-1.8 times increase of productivity;

- soil moisture enhancement by capillary rise.

Main disadvantages:

Limitations of application:

- in conditions of naturally shallow groundwater level;

- in conditions of good water penetration and soil drainage on flat relief;

- lack of local saliferous lenses and existence of nonsaline soils.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: the technology successfully passed experimental tests and is approved by farmers. Implementation of this technology in farms during the next years is expected.

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

Name of person(s) collected this description: A. Naloychenko, Leading research associate;

A. Atakanov, 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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