Results

The main results obtained are:

  • first harvest (November 2011): an increase of 50% in the production of dates of the pilot plot compared to the control plot;
  • a better fruit quality;
  • double revenue: after selling the entire date harvest   of all farms.
  • despite the slight increase in the production of annual crops on the Intercalary Continental aquifer, it was not possible to carry out the vegetative cycle due to technical problems related to water supply, which obviously led to a significant loss of a part of the harvest
     


Concerning the environmental impacts of the installed localized irrigation system and buried drainage networks, a follow-up protocol was established and functions for 24 hours to measure the variation of the aquifer level and the soil and water salinity.

The volume of irrigation and drainage water were estimated during the first months of the pilot implementation and the start of irrigation (twice a week). The main obtained results are:

  • the first results were registered in the 2012 winter season and indicated a positive impact of the buried drainage network on the quality of soil and a decrease of the aquifer’s initial level. These results were confirmed during the second growing season.
  • the drainage water flow rate shows a coherent evolution with the irrigation patterns and water table dynamic. For instance, we notice a peak of the drainage water flow that was almost concomitant with the irrigation water flow and followed by a declining phase marked by a progressive depletion rate.
  • irrigation water has a salinity of about 4.2g/l and that of the drainage water varies between 9-10g/l which asserts the efficiency of drainage in soil desalination.
  • 24 hours after the start of irrigation, we register a slight rise in the level of the superficial water table followed by a progressive drawdown.
  • two months after the start of irrigation and drainage, the water table level registered a decrease of 20cm.
  • the preliminary results of soil analysis in the vicinity of the 9 piezometers installed in the pilot indicate a stability of salinity of about 4g/l which asserts the efficiency of irrigation.


The hydraulic and agricultural components of the pilot were implemented. The agricultural plan was equally executed and the first obtained results are promising as they show a significant increase in the production of date, a decrease of the water table level and a reduction in drainage water and soil salinity. The supply of the pilot with irrigation water (after a brief interruption) enabled the setting up of the agricultural plan.