Technology (drip irrigation) and environmental impact (SWAT modeling) components of “Agroforestry and Sustainable Vegetable Production in Southeast Asian Watersheds” project


V.B. Ella

Type of Document:
Project Document


University of the Philippines- Los Banos

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Los Banos, Philippines


Summary: Over the past twelve (12) months of year 3 of project implementation, significant progress has been made on the drip irrigation technology and environmental impact (SWAT modeling) components of this project in the Philippines. Laboratory experiments on drip irrigation were conducted at the College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Banos from October to December 2007 to determine the effect of slope and head on the water distribution uniformity of a 100 sq. m IDE drip irrigation system. The drip system was operated at pre-specified heads of 1 m, 2 m and 3.0 m from the reservoir outlet for slopes of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% for the sub-main and 0% slope for the laterals. Results showed that the water distribution uniformity of the low-cost drip irrigation kit developed by the International Development Enterprises (IDE) is influenced by hydraulic head and slope. The coefficient of uniformity UC and the emission uniformity EU Generally increase with increasing heads and decrease with increasing slope. The coefficient of uniformity Generally followed a linear relationship with either head or slope. The UC and EU decrease substantially at submain slopes steeper than 30%. For level surface, a head differential of 0.5 m does not cause significant change in either UC or EU. For all slopes, a head of 3.0 m with respect to the junction of the most upstream lateral may be considered to be optimum from both hydraulic and practical standpoints. Linear regression models relating UC and either head or slope may be used for predicting water distribution uniformity for heads between 1.0 m and 3.0 m and for slopes between 0% and 50%.

Field experiments on drip irrigation were carried out after the laboratory experiments. Field experimental results indicate strong potential for adoption of the low-cost drip irrigation technology for sustainable crop production in upland watersheds and help in poverty alleviation for upland settlers in the Philippines.

For the environmental impact (SWAT modeling) component of this project, the ArcSWAT model was parameterized and calibrated in selected Manupali river subwatersheds with an aggregate area of 2177 ha. On the average, simulation results showed an annual sediment yield of 12.86 t/ha for the whole area.

To further improve SWAT modeling work, primary hydrometeorological data collection at the subwatersheds of Alanib river was commenced in June 2008 in partnership with Dr. Conrad Heatwole of Virginia Tech. These primary hydrometeorological data will be used in the further refinement of the SWAT model for the Kiluya and Kalaignon subwatersheds and the Alanib watershed.

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