Literature Review on Water Efficiency in Agriculture: Sustainable Irrigation Methods
Irrigation has been practiced worldwide for thousands of years. Irrigation systems and methods developed throughout history, but improvements are still needed, especially with regard to water efficiency. As water scarcity and the depletion of water resources increase, so do the water demands. The world population relies on irrigation for food production and therefore it is critical to reduce the pressure on freshwater bodies, while maintaining crop productivity. Irrigation management has varying effects on different stakeholders according to ample components affecting the irrigation management scheme, such as: soil type, climate, water availability, crop type and socio-economical influences in an area. One technique may be beneficial for short-term purposes, but cause negative consequences in the long run – this must be taken into consideration before implementation. There is no one way approach towards water efficiency. This paper will discuss the responses, methods, policies and proposed and practiced alternatives, as well as the corresponding difficulties and limitations, to increase water efficiency in agricultural irrigation.