International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999
Section 10: Rainwater
Estimation of Water
Use by Vegetation Barriers Based on Climatological Factors and Soil Moisture Levels
Spaan, J. Ringersma, L. Stroosnijder & A. Sikking
Department of Environmental Sciences
Nieuwe Kanaal 11
6709 PA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Fax: 0031 317484759
Runoff management is one of the tools to increase the
available water for agricultural production in areas where rainfall is erratic.
Vegetation barriers have shown to increase the amount of water in the soil by
slowing down runoff and thus allowing more time for infiltration. They do not
cause upstream water logging problems due to the semi-permeable character of
the barrier. However little is known about the water use of the vegetation
barrier and thus whether its conservation effect is not being minimized by its own
water use. This paper presents the results of a study conducted in Burkina Faso
in 1996 in which a method has been developed to assess the water use of a
vegetation barrier. Transpiration (sapflow) was measured on 3 barrier species
(Andropogon gayanus, Piliostigma reticulatum and Ziziphus mauritiana).
Transpiration was related to meteorological factors and soil moisture
availability. The method used was found to be simple and reliable. The results
can be used in other experiments focusing on the water use of (natural)
vegetation and its competition with agricultural crop water use.
PDF of full document (6pp, 45kb)
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