Effects of Irrigation Management on Yield and Water Productivity of Barley Hordeum vulgare in the Upper Blue Nile Basin: Case Study in Northern Gondar

  • Amanuel A. ArarssaEmail author
  • Azage G. Gebremariam
  • Worku L. Mulat
  • Mesfin M. Mekonnen
Original Paper


Deficit irrigation practices could be a sustainable crop production strategy in water-scarce regions. This paper presents the relationship between barley yield and various irrigation treatments based on a field-level experiment. The aim of this study is to determine irrigation depth and its effect on the yield and water productivity of barley, Hordeum vulgare. The field experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications and five irrigation treatments (fully irrigated treatment (FIT), 90% FIT, 85% FIT, 80% FIT, and 75% FIT). The study showed yields of barley were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by the irrigation amount. At 80% FIT, the largest yield was recorded at 1700 kg/ha. The decrease in yield with increasing irrigation levels could be attributed to the variety of the barley in the region that performs well under water stress. Therefore, the highest yield is obtained at lower irrigation volume than the full irrigation level. The provision of a certain level of water stress (80% FIT) throughout the growing season translates to a better yield relative to full irrigation. The FIT (2.01 kg/m3) and 80% FIT (2.95 kg/m3) treatments had the lowest and highest water productivity, respectively. The finding indicates that barley production using deficit irrigation offers great potential in improving water use. Therefore, a deficit irrigation strategy that increases barley production and uses water efficiently in water-scarce areas is recommended.


Barley yield Water depth Water productivity Deficit irrigation Ethiopia 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ethiopia; the Institute of Water Resources, Addis Ababa University; and University of Gondar for supporting, providing scholarship opportunities, and providing a plot of land on which to conduct the successful field experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ethiopian Institute of Water ResourcesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.Wollo UniversityDessieEthiopia
  3. 3.Robert B. Daugherty, Water for Food Global InstituteUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA

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