International Journal of Environmental Science and Development

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Volume 4 Number 4 (Aug. 2013)

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IJESD 2013 Vol.4(4): 431-434 ISSN: 2010-0264
DOI: 10.7763/IJESD.2013.V4.387

Strategies to Reduce Nitrate Leaching under Furrow Irrigation

A. A. Siyal and A. G. Siyal
Abstract—Contamination of groundwater is a great concern in many irrigated areas of the world. In irrigated areas of world, about 90% of land is irrigated with furrow irrigation method. It is said to be water use efficient method than the conventional methods but is said to be capable of leaching large quantities of nitrogen to the groundwater. It is said that about 40% of the nitrogen applied percolate below the vadose zone of a clay loam soil which can even more leach from sandy soils. HYDRUS-2D model was used to analyse different fertilizer placement strategies in the furrow in order to reduce nitrogen leaching from a furrows prepared in different soil textures. Strategies of soil management included controlled or normal (Sn), compacting furrow bottom (Sc) and covering bottom of furrow with plastic sheet (Sp). Soils used for analysis consisted, sandy loam, loam and clay. Considered placements of fertilizer included fertilizer at the sides and bottom of furrow (P1) near ridge the ridge top (P2). Results of simulations obtained with HYDRUS showed that for the considered soil textures 25% to 60% water can be saved Sc, which can further be enhanced from 50% to 95% using Sp. Simulated results revealed that 15% to 99% nitrogen leaching can be reduced by using fertilizer placement P2. About 10% to 98% reduction in nitrogen leaching can be achieved if we adopt soil management strategies reported in this study.

Index Terms—HYDRUS-2D, leaching, contamination, nitrogens, groundwater, furrow.

The authors are with Department of Land and Water Management, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan (email:


Cite:A. A. Siyal and A. G. Siyal, "Strategies to Reduce Nitrate Leaching under Furrow Irrigation," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 431-434, 2013.