WRM-10306 Irrigation and Water Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (multiple days)42
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. GE van Halsema
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JA Bolding
dr. ir. JMC Vos
dr. ir. HP Ritzema
prof. dr. ir. PJGJ Hellegers
ing. H Boesveld
dr. ir. GE van Halsema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. GE van Halsema

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The first year courses of ' BIL' contain no prerequisite knowledge to follow this course.

Continuation courses:

WRM-21312 Design in Land and Water Management 2; WRM-30806 Water Delivery.


The course is an introduction to irrigation and water management and a further elaboration of the theme of agro-irrigation. The course aims at the understanding of the role of irrigation in the world and the relationship between water availability and world food production. Special attention is paid to field specific issues such as the basics of field and farm irrigation with an emphasis on plant-water-soil- atmosphere relationships and field irrigation methods.
For BIL students the course includes during week 7 and 8 an excursion to Spain or Greece, where different types of irrigation systems will be visited showing different options and constraints to irrigated agriculture in different agro-ecological settings. As an alternative for the excursion, non BIL students will carry out an assignment (1,4 Ects) consisting of a literature review and writing of an essay to answer a special question or to deepen one of the course themes of their own choice.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course student are expected to be able to:
- understand the relationship between irrigation and (food) production on global, regional, field and farm;
level. Especially related to crop-water use and water-use efficiencies;
- understand the relationships in the plant-water-soil-atmosphere system and determination of crop water requirements and irrigation water demands;
- design and evaluate field irrigation schedules and irrigation practices;
- understand the specific characteristics and hydraulics of different field irrigation methods and the different factors determining the choice for a specific irrigation method and its evaluation;
- undestand the use of software about design and evaluation of field irrigation, crop water use and irrigation scheduling.


The course is organised in two distinctive content blocks:
Block 1: Crop Water Requirements (PSWA relations).
Block 2: On-farm surface irrigation.
Block 1: Week 1-3.
10 lectures followed by exercises (discussed at class);
Reading and exercises for week 3, followed by block specific examination on Friday of week 3.
Block 2: Week 4-6
Mixture of lectures, practical, exercises and self-study with block specific examination on Friday of week 6.
BIL-student Excursion: Week 7 & 8.
International excursion (for instance Spain or Greece). Compulsory attendance for BIL students, with a group assignment to be fulfilled during the excursion (presentation & report).
Non-BIL students: Week 7 & 8:
Essay assignment on a related course topic of choice. Literature research and writing of essay.


Partial block specific examinations will be taken throughout the course (block 1 in week 3, block 2 in week 6). These written examination will be a set of questions that test the understanding of the subjects dealt with in the course. Emphasis is on calculation problems that are dealt with during the exercises and test the ability as well as the understanding of the subject (application of theory on problems). Block 2 also contains an intensive practical that is examined by a group report. The excursion is examined by individual and group assignments on which participants will need to report. Students not eligible to partake in the excursion need to submit an essay assignment.
The final mark of the course will be composed as follows:
75% examination block 1 & 2 (block 1 * 0.5 + 0.5* (0.75 exam block 2 + 0.25 practical)).
25% excursion/ essay assignment.
To pass the course the final course mark must be higher than 5.5 and any of the block specific exams must be concluded with a sub-mark >5.


Lecture notes, literature and reference are made available through the black board course site:
Part PSWA: FAO I&D 56: Crop Water Requirements
Part Surface Irrigation: On-farm Surface Irrigation
Part Practical: Agro- Irrigation Practical
Selected literature:
- James, L.G. 1988: Principles of farm irrigation system design;
- Jensen, M.E. (ed) 1981: Design and operation of farm irrigation systems;
- FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper;
- nr 24: Crop water requirements;
- nr 33: Yield response to water;
- nr 45: Guidelines for designing and evaluating surface irrigation systems;
- nr 46: CROPWAT, a computer program for irrigation planning and management;
- nr 56: Crop evapotranspiration;
- K. Roscher (1994),Agro-Irrigation Part III: Field Water Management Irrigated Rice.
The excursion guide will be made available in due time.

Compulsory for: BILInternational Land and Water ManagementBSc1MO
Compulsory for: WUILWBSc Minor International Land and Water Management1MO