Runoff Irrigation

  • J. Ben-Asher
  • P. R. Berliner
Part of the Advanced Series in Agricultural Sciences book series (AGRICULTURAL, volume 22)


The fraction of rainfall that flows over the landscape from higher to lower elevations is known as runoff. Runoff is usually associated with negative implications such as erosion, water loss, etc. It can, however, be used for the surface irrigation of agricultural crops during rainfall events. This is accomplished by channeling the runoff water into dike-surrounded plots where crops are grown. Concentrating runoff water allows agricultural activities in areas in which otherwise no such activities could take place. This technique has been called runoff agriculture or water harvesting; the latter is usually used to indicate water collection for domestic use. The amount of water that can be collected during a rainfall event depends on rainfall characteristics such as quantity, intensity and distribution, and on the generating area such as size, geomorphology and surface characteristics. The main difference between runoff irrigation and conventional irrigation is that the timing and the amount of the application cannot be determined a priori. The variability in available water can be minimized by adjusting the size of the plots receiving runoff. From this short description it is clear that in order to model the productivity of a crop in such a system it is necessary to model the diverse processes involved such as rainfall, infiltration, surface flow and consumptive water use.


Runoff Water Arid Zone Soil Crust Rainfall Simulator Crust Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Ben-Asher
  • P. R. Berliner

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