عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Designing and management of sprinkler irrigation systems depend on the situation and location of its implementation and often rely on professional and long-term tests (9). Having a good irrigation system depends on knowledge of the relationship between soil, water, plants, irrigation scheduling, the required amount of irrigation water to the water-holding capacity of soil, climate and plant growth (6).The less use of sprinkler irrigation systems and less performed research projects in the Guilan province, lack of correct design parameters due to shortage of the required parameters for local and regional planning, has led to reliance on charts and tables. Therefore, planning water resources cannot be performed well and with accurate details. According to many researchers (8), the technical evaluation should be a regular and short-term process to review the problems and possible performance of irrigation systems. Merriam and Keller (10) defined the assessment of an irrigation system analysis, based on field measurements in real terms during the normal work of the system. Therefore, to develop these systems over the next few years, it is essential to evaluate the use of irrigation systems and review the performance of existing problems and utilizing the results to improve it. The aim of this study was to assess the current status of implemented irrigation systems in the tea plantations of Guilan and evaluate their performance.
Materials and Methods: In this study, six classic sprinkler irrigation systems in tea fields of Guilan province were evaluated during two years. Sprinkler irrigation systems of semi-portable, solid-set and solid-set (hand-move sprinkler) were selected randomly. To evaluate this irrigation systems, Christiansen’s uniformity coefficient (CU), distribution uniformity (DU), potential application efficiency of low-quarter (PELQ) and application efficiency of low-quarter (AELQ) in the form of trial blocks were estimated by measuring pressure fluctuations which were applied to the entire system. Using irrigated area and irrigation water depth, adequacy of irrigation curve, deep percolation losses and spray losses were determined on the basis of existing relationships.
Results and Discussion: Average values of CU, DU, PELQ and AELQ for 6 tea fields were 65, 52, 44 and 44 percent, respectively. Application efficiency in all irrigation systems, Christiansen’s uniformity coefficient and distribution uniformity were lower than recommended values in the references. Merriam and Keller (11) reported the allowable range for potential application efficiency of low-quarter between 65 to 85 percent. With respect to irrigation less than the actual water requirement of the plant in tea fields, AELQ was equal with PELQ. Untechnical design and implementation of irrigation systems, particularly poor operating pressure and economic problems were detected as the main reasons for the low PELQ. Simultaneous use of sprinklers with different specifications and models, old irrigation systems, water leakage from valves and other equipment, practically change the pressure and flow rate, which were the main reasons for the decrease in uniformity of water distribution and application efficiency of low-quarter. According to Cobban (4) uniformity coefficient of sprinkler irrigation systems were reported between 31 to 55 percent in Tanzania tea fields and in other reports were between 58 to 72 percent (7), which was due to poor design, long spacing of sprinklers and high speed wind. Christiansen’s uniformity coefficient and distribution uniformity of low-quarter in ED, WB & EP systems were lower than recommended values by Merriam and Keller (%81≥CU≥87% & %67≥DU≥80%)(10). In spite of the little losses in deep percolation, irrigation adequacy of these systems was relatively low and unacceptable. In such circumstances, only about 20 to 38% of irrigated area in WA and CK systems, respectively received the required water or more, according to lack of soil moisture (required irrigation depth). The main reason was low uniformity of water distribution in irrigation systems which was described previously. Evaluated spray losses in irrigation systems was variable between 4.8 to 13 percent. The losses obtained in irrigation systems in tea fields in comparison with the values 2.6 to 42.4 which were obtained in other regions of the country were less by (1, 3, 5 and 12) due to low wind speed and high relative humidity (2) as the main reasons.
Conclusion: Average values of CU, DU, PELQ and AELQ for 6 tea fields were 65, 52, 44 and 44 percent, respectively that were lower than recommended values in the references. The results showed that old irrigation systems in tea fields are not in good functional status due to untechnical design and implementation, operation, exploitation and inappropriate maintenance (due to economic problems and lack of farmer’s knowledge on irrigation). To improve the performance and efficiency of irrigation systems in the tea fields, detailed information are recommended, to design and implement with detailed information accomplished by regional companies. Moreover, the use of solid-set (hand-move sprinkler) sprinkler irrigation instead of semi-portable with manual handling (aluminum pipes), operation of irrigation groups and promoting farmers' knowledge about the principles of proper the scheduling and management, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems are very effective to improve the performance indices.