Ghani Akbar, Muhammad Munir Ahmad, Abdul Ghafoor, Matiullah Khan, Zafar Islam


The conventional surface irrigation systems, border, level basin and furrow bed, are inherently inefficient in Pakistan, while the suboptimal field sizes (length and width) are considered as one of the main reasons of poor performance. Addressing these issues, the three surface irrigation systems were evaluated on thirteen fields under routine farmer management in Pakistan. Irrigation performance including application efficiency (AE), Potential Application Efficiency (PAE), Adequacy (AD) and distribution uniformity (DU), of 17 irrigation events were evaluated and further potential for improvement by optimising field sizes were identified using surface irrigation evaluation Model WinSRFR 4.1.3.

The study revealed poor irrigation efficiencies, AElq (41% to 82%), PAEmin (43% to 95%), ADlq (1.16 to 2.29) and DUlq (80% to 99%), on farms. The average AElq on farm was in the order of; level basin (58%) < border (65%) <furrow bed (68%). Simulation modelling indicated that there is further potential to increase average PAE up-to 94%, 87% and 96% for level basin, border and furrow bed irrigated fields respectively, by optimising field length and width. The analysis demonstrated increased understanding of the interactions of field sizes and irrigation efficiencies, which may support irrigators’ decision making for enhancing irrigation performance at no significant cost to infrastructure, machinery or labour.


Application efficiency; Adequacy; distribution uniformity; border; level basin; furrow bed

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