Actual Evapotranspiration from Irrigated Pasture in Canterbury

Part of the NIWA led, MBIE funded, “Waterscape” programme.

This study aims to obtain scientifically robust information on irrigated pasture water use for a range of soil types and climatic locations in Canterbury. The research is proposed to be based initially on lysimeter and climatic data collected between August 2011 and July 2012 from four sites around Canterbury, with three lysimeters per site.

Regular measurements of pasture canopy architecture will be made, including plant height, leaf-area-index, species composition, and mass of dry matter. Using the measured data obtained from each lysimeter, the relationships between actual evapotranspiration, canopy architecture and climate data will be quantified to calculate a seasonal time series of the crop coefficient for irrigated pasture

The rationale behind the research is to obtain better information on water use by irrigated pasture so that regional councils have better tools to:

  • Set appropriate seasonal irrigation water use limits.
  • Assess the impact of irrigated agriculture on groundwater and river systems.
Contact person: Jenna Donaggio j.donaggio@aqualinc.co.nz




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