An Assessment of Irrigation Efficiency in the Palestinian West Bank

Posted in 1999 Papers

Water scarcity in the West Bank represents a critical constraints to further expanding, or even maintaining, present irrigated areas. There is increasing demand for agricultural water use to be restricted in favor of other water consumers, such as local communities and industry.

The fundamental question this research addresses, however, is whether irrigation water is being used wisely in the West Bank, and whether modernization of irrigation can effectively improve its performance. Another important objective in this research is to develop irrigation scheduling programs for farmers to insure more cost efficient water use. The study indicates that water use efficiency is relatively high. This is not due to good management, but mainly to the shortage of water in the irrigated areas. Of the area currently irrigated in the Jordan Valley, however, about 97% of the vegetables are irrigated by drip systems having an application efficiency of 78%, and 2.4% by sprinklers with an application efficiency of 85%. On the other hand, in the semi-coastal region (Jenin and Tulkarm) 70.5% of the vegetables are irrigated by drip systems of 68% application efficiency. About 0.6% and 1.5% of the vegetables in both the Jordan Valley and Semi-Coastal regions are irrigated using furrow irrigation.

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