Factors That Improve Water Savings Essays
The majority of winegrowing regions worldwide are located in semi-arid and arid regions with low rainfall, meaning that irrigation is required. Climate change will result in higher temperatures and higher evapotranspiration rates in these regions, putting additional pressure on limited water supplies for domestic use, industry and agriculture. Dwindling water supplies, increasing drought frequency and uncertainties associated with a changing climate mean that the irrigated viticulture sector needs to improve water efficiency.
Trickle (‘drip’) irrigation, a widely utilised irrigation method in viticulture, involves application of water at a slow rate from regularly spaced point sources (or emitters) above the soil surface. It is a relatively efficient means of irrigation, however there remain opportunities for further efficiency gains – for example through improved scheduling, regulated deficit irrigation, partial rootzone drying, subsurface drip irrigation and application of mulches. However, one aspect that requires further investigation is the potential for water savings by irrigating at only particular times of the day, to take advantage of diurnal factors. A long-held belief, dating back to the 14th century (Power 1928), is that you should not water in the middle of the day but, if true, this belief needs to be supported by evidence.
The efficiency of the irrigation depends on the losses which take place during and following the irrigation – losses…