A coupled agronomic – economic model to evaluate options for managing variable ‎salinity irrigation water: the case for dates and bell peppers in the Arava Valley

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  A coupled agronomic – economic model to evaluate options for managing variable ‎salinity irrigation water: the case for dates and bell peppers in the Arava Valley
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  A coupled agronomic – economic model to evaluate options formanaging variable salinity irrigation water: the case for datesand bell peppers in the Arava Valley Ef Tripler 1*  and Alon Ben-Gal 21 Central and Northern Arava R&D. Israel. effi@arava.co.il 2 Ari!"lt"ral Resear!h #rani$ation% Gilat% Israel. bengal@volcani.agri.gov.il *resentin a"thor Irriation is essential in arid reions to in!rease !rop prod"!tion. The!o'(ination o) lo(al ne!essit to in!rease prod"!tion o) )ood and +(er ,ithin!reasin ,ater s!ar!it has led to "tili$ation o) ,ater ,ith hih!on!entrations o) salts )or !rop irriation% parti!"larl in arid and se'i-aridreions.  The Arava alle% shared ( Israel and ordan% is !hara!teri$ed ( e/tre'earidit 0averae ann"al rain)all o) onl 2 '' and ann"al potentialevapotranspiration o) 333 ''4 and deep a5"i)ers !ontainin (ra!6ish 02-7d89'4 ,ater. The li'ited and non-rene,a(le lo!al ,ater reso"r!es restri!tari!"lt"ral e/pansion in the reion. Additionall% the salinit o) the ,aterli'its plant ro,th and prod"!tivit. The t,o !rops !"rrentl pre)erred (Israeli ro,ers in the Arava alle are the date pal'% ,hi!h is e/tre'el ,elladapted to the reion% and (ell-pepper ,hi!h !an (e lo!all ro,n d"rinseasons o) s!ar!it in distant 'ar6ets. An interated ,ater )ra'e,or6 plan)or the Arava valle% re!entl adopted ( the Israeli ,ater a"thorit% s"estsprovidin desalinated ,ater% oriinated )ro' lo!al (ra!6ish ,ell and )ro' sea,ater% to the reion. This plan ai's to in!rease prod"!tivit and 'ini'i$esalt and n"trient enri!h'ent o) the lo!al a5"i)ers. In Israel% nat"ral ,aterreso"r!es and land are leal propert o) the state. #ne reper!"ssion o) this isan e/!l"sive vol"'etri! ,ater pri!in 'odel )or Israeli ari!"lt"re% (ased onthe ele!tri!al !ond"!tivit 0EC4 o) the ,ater so"r!e% ,here% as EC in!reases!ost to )ar'ers de!reases. :or e/a'ple% the pri!e )or )resh ,ater 0EC;1.<d8=' -1 4 and saline ,ater at rane o) 2.>-.? d8=' -1 is 3.77 and 3.1 @8D%respe!tivel. Ea!h )ar'er in the Arava has a +nite area )or prod"!tion 0?he!tares4 and an ann"al ,ater allo!ation o) 7%333 '  .  e ai'ed to develop a "ni5"e 5"antitative tool to opti'i$e land and ,aterallo!ation (ased on "nderstandin o) !rop response to environ'ental!onditions !o'(ined ,ith e!ono'i! !onsiderations. e de'onstrate the tool)or a !ase o) a sinle )ar' "nit in the Arava !o'prised o) t,o !rops 0datepal' and (ell pepper4% "nder varia(le irriation ,ater EC 03.?-? d8' -1 4. eass"'ed that the )ar'er !an 'i/ desalinated ,ater ,ith lo!al (ra!6ish ,aterin order to rea!h an desira(le irriation ,ater salinit ,ith no sini+!antee!t on the 8AR. ield-,ater-salinit prod"!tion )"n!tions enerated ( the AN8ER 'odel08hani et al. 23374 ,ere !o"pled ,ith +nan!ial pro+ta(ilit analsis o) ea!h!rop% a!!o"ntin )or the varia(le ,ater pri!es. #pti'i$ation ,as !onsideredas 'a/i'i$ation o) )ar' net ret"rns )ro' ari!"lt"ral prod"!tion s"(e!t toland ,ater !onstraints. e applied the !o"pled 'odel to t,o s!enarios. Inthe +rst 0814 ,e !onsidered a )ar' ,ith a iven 1 ha o) date pal's and  hao) peppers and "sed the opti'i$ation pro!ed"re to deter'ine allo!ation o) ,ater )or 'a/i'"' pro+t )or dierent irriation ,ater salinit levels. In these!ond !ase 0824 ,e deter'ined the opti'"' land and ,ater allo!ation% )ora sinle ? ha )ar' (et,een the t,o !rops )or varia(le !o'(inations o) irriation ,ater salinities. Res"lts indi!ate that the vol"'etri! ,ater pri!in poli! and salinit have areat ee!t on land and ,ater allo!ation% )or (oth investiated !rops. ro+ts)ro' date pal'% !hara!teri$ed ,ith EC 3  0sat"rated soil-paste e/tra!t EC!a"sin ield de!rease o) 3F4 o) ?. d8' -1 % are in"en!ed stronl ( !osto) )ertiation% ,hi!h rea!hes 2HF o) total ann"al prod"!tion !osts in dates0!o'pared to 11F )or peppers4. Conversel% peppers% ,ith a relativel lo,EC 3 02. d8' -1 4% and the pro+ts enerated ( the'% are parti!"larlsensitive to irriation ,ater salinit. Individ"al !rop net-pro+t response tosalinit% "nder elevated irriation levels% sho,ed that the 'a/i'"' pro+t )ordate pal' is rea!hed ,hen irriatin ,ith ,ater o) 2 d8' -1  ,hile pepperspro+t 'ost ,hen irriated ,ith ,ater o) 3.? d8' -1 . @nder the 81 s!enario%,hen a )ar' has onl a sinle ,ater 5"alit% 5"antities allo!ated )or peppers,ere !onsistentl hiher than )or date pal'% d"e to the need to provide 'ore  ,ater to lea!h salts% red"!e soil salinit% and s"(se5"entl in!rease ieldsand pro+ts. The !ontrastin irriation prod"!tivit indi!es o) peppers and dates led tothree distin!tive sol"tions dependin on irriation ,ater salinit )or the 82s!enario. At lo, salinit 0;1.> d8' -1 4 'a/i'al pro+t is possi(le ,hen pepperis ro,n on the entire )ar'. At salinit hiher than  d8' -1  pro+t is'a/i'i$ed ,hen all the land is allo!ated to dates. hen irriation ,ater is ata 'oderate rane 01.>- d8' -1 4% opti'i$ation o!!"rs ,ith allo!ation o) landand ,ater to (oth !rops.  The opti'i$ation pro!ed"re presented (rides arono'i! soil-,ater-plant-at'osphere "nderstandin o) pro!esses ,ith e!ono'i! tools and !an (ene+tde!ision 'a6in ( poli! 'a6ers% planners and ro,ers.8hani% @.% Ben-Gal% A. Tripler E. and D"dle% .J. 023374 lant response to thesoil environ'entK an analti!al 'odel interatin ield% ,ater% soil tpe andsalinit. ater Reso"r!es Res. ol. ?% 3H?1H% 13.132<9233>R331
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