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Biological management of irrigation channel weed problems in irrigated semi-arid agriculture

Objective



The proposal aims to quantify the interaction between water quality (especially turbidity), and submerged weed growth and plant life strategy in irrigation/drainage channel systems in semi-arid areas of irrigated agriculture in the lower valleys of the Rio Negro (IDEVI) and Rio Colorado (CORFU) in Argentina. In both systems, aquatic weeds seriously impede the flow through of water in the drainage and irrigation channels. A new dam across the Rio Colorado has recently reduced the silt load, and altered underwater light climate in the irrigation channels of the CORFU network. Newly clear water conditions are producing a dramatic increase in weed growth. The proposal aims at integrating a number of environmentally sound control-practices. The natural impact of common carp on the underwater light climate will be tested as a tool to increase turbidity. Its feeding habits cause resuspension of sediment which results in turbit water conditions and reduced weed growth.
Data on life-history traits of the dominant weed species

will be combined into the existing weed growth model SAGA-1. Combining this information will give clues on how to stock
irrigation and drainage channels to reduce weed growth. The approach will have clear advantages over traditional weed control methods in which application of herbicides is standard. Results from the study will be applicable to similar irrigation systems worldwide.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR INFRASTRUCTURAL, HYDRAULIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Address
95,Westvest 7
2601 DA Delft
Netherlands

Participants (2)

Centro de Recursos Naturales Renovables de la Zona Semiarida
Argentina
Address

8000 Bahia Blanca
University of Reading
United Kingdom
Address
Palmer Building Whiteknights
RG6 2AH Reading