Water productivity under deficit irrigation using onion as indicator crop

Kassahun B. Tadesse, Eyasu Y. Hagos, Nata T. Tafesse, Megersa O. Dinka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Improving water productivity (WP) through deficit irrigation is crucial in water-scarce areas. To practice deficit irrigation, the optimum level of water deficit that maximizes WP must be investigated. In this study, a field experiment was conducted to examine WP of the three treatments at available soil water depletion percentage (Pi) of 25% (reference), 45% and 65% using a drip irrigation system. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design. The water deficit was allowed throughout the growth stages after transplanting except for the first 15 days of equal amounts of irrigations during the initial growth stage and 20 days enough spring season rainfall during bulb enlargement periods. Physical WP in terms of water use efficiency (WUEf) for treatments T1, T2, and T3 was 9.44 kg∙m-3, 11 kg∙m-3 and 10.6 kg∙m-3 for marketable yields. The WUEf and economic water productivity were significantly improved by T2 and T3. The WUEf difference between T2 and T3 was insignificant. However, T2 can be selected as an optimal irrigation level. Hence, deficit irrigation scheduling is an important approach for maximizing WP in areas where water is the main constraint for crop production. The planting dates should be scheduled such that the peak water requirement periods coincide with the rainy system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Water and Land Development
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Drip irrigation
  • Effective rainfall
  • Real evapotranspiration
  • Soil water
  • Water quality
  • Water use efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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