Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering

ISSN: 2168-9768

Open Access

Assessing the Potential of Rain-Water Harvesting (in situ) for Sustainable Olive (Olea europaea L.) Cultivation in Water-Scarce Rain-Fed Areas


Aziz M and Tariq M

The improvement of water productivity in olive cultivation and its production on sustainable basis in areas marked as water deficit. The most essential, natural and cheapest water resource in such water-prone areas of the world is rainfall. The collection and constructive use of rain-water runoff, also known as water harvesting, has the potential to cope with the water scarcity in the semi-arid and dry, sub-humid regions of the world to sustain olive production. Among all the available micro-irrigation techniques, construction of micro catchments can help farmers to produce crops such as olive orchards with minimum water resources. Research experiments were conducted at Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Pakistan situated in region where the climate is semi-arid subtropical and the annual rainfall varies from 500-1000 mm. To compare water productivity of different micro-catchment methods, three field plots with three different shapes i.e., square, rectangular, and triangular (V shape) were constructed with 3-5% slope. Olive trees, due to their expensive premium quality edible oil and natural adaptability to grow in marginal lands and better drought tolerance, were used as subject crop to evaluate the performance of micro catchments rain water harvesting techniques. Results concluded that micro catchment structures showed significantly better yield (8-9%) as compared to control and are best suitable to sloppy terrene. Only three supplement irrigations were required for sustainable olive plant cultivation through drip/bubbler irrigation system. Average effective rainfall of both years was 594 mm from which 505 mm (85%) was used by olive plants in micro catchments. Conclusively, micro-catchment structure can be utilized as efficient technique to harvest rain water and sustainable cultivation of olive in semi-arid and arid climates.


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