Irrigation Management

Irrigation System Upgrade Opportunities

Have you completed an Environmental Farm Plan? (BC Agriculture Council) If so, the next step may be to create an Irrigation Management Plan (PDF download - BC Agriculture Council) with potential access to cost-share support.

Operations Recommendations

Key drought management tips (PDF Factsheet - BC Agriculture)
  • reducing irrigated acreage
  • delaying irrigation for critical stages
  • retaining crop residues for better water capture
  • scheduling irrigation
Irrigation water-saving tips (PDF Factsheet - BC Agriculture)
  • use the right equipment for the type of crop
  • correct operation considerations
  • monitoring soil moisture
  • understanding late summer water requirements for various crops
Irrigation decisions with limited water (PDF Factsheet - BC Agriculture)
  • irrigating a portion of acreage fully will produce as much total yield as irrigating the full acreage partially and can reduce overhead costs as well
Irrigation tips to conserve water on the farm (PDF Factsheet - BC Agriculture) 
  • repair leaks in the irrigation system
  • select more efficient irrigation systems
  • apply only as much water as you need
  • use soil moisture monitoring devices and climate information
  • avoid irrigation during hot and windy periods

Irrigation Scheduling Tools

(useful for longer term adaptation to manage water in advance of a drought)

Irrigation Calculator User Guides (BC Waterbucket website)
  • sprinklers
  • drip
  • pivot
  • traveling gun
  • stationary gun
Irrigation Calculator

Irrigation Scheduling Techniques

Irrigation scheduling techniques (PDF Factsheet - BC Ministry of Agriculture)
  • soil moisture measurement
  • hand feel method
  • tensiometers
  • collecting meteorological data
Sprinkler irrigation scheduling using a water budget method (PDF Factsheet - BC Ministry of Agriculture)
  • determining soil water content
  • determining effective precipitation
  • determining net depth of irrigation water applied
  • determining crop evapotranspiration
  • calculating water balance
 Determining Evapotranspiration with Evaporation Pans (PDF Factsheet - BC Ministry of Agriculture)
  • evaporation pans
  • rain gauges
  • appropriate locations

Check out FarmWest for additional information on evapostranspiration.