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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Enhancing water use efficiency and grain yield of wheat by optimizing irrigation supply in arid and semi-arid regions of Pakistan

Jabeen, Mahwish; Ahmed, Sajid Rashid; Ahmed, Mukhtar


The lack of good irrigation practices and policy reforms in Pakistan triggers major threats to the water and food security of the country. In the future, irrigation will happen under the scarcity of water, as inadequate irrigation water becomes the requirement rather than the exception. The precise application of water with irrigation management is therefore needed. This research evaluated the wheat grain yield and water use efficiency (WUE) under limited irrigation practices in arid and semi-arid regions of Pakistan. DSSAT was used to simulate yield and assess alternative irrigation scheduling based on different levels of irrigation starting from the actual irrigation level up to 65% less irrigation. The findings demonstrated that different levels of irrigation had substantial effects on wheat grain yield and total water consumption. After comparing the different irrigation levels, the high amount of actual irrigation level in semi-arid sites decreased the WUE and wheat grain yield. However, the arid site (Site-1) showed the highest wheat grain yield 2394 kg ha(-1) and WUE 5.9 kg(-3) on actual irrigation (T-1), and with the reduction of water, wheat grain yield decreased continuously. The optimal irrigation level was attained on semiarid (site-2) with 50% (T-11) less water where the wheat grain yield and WUE were 1925 kg ha(-1) and 4.47 kg(-3) respectively. The best irrigation level was acquired with 40% less water (T-9) on semi-arid (site-3), where wheat grain yield and WUE were 1925 kg ha(-1) and 4.57 kg(-3), respectively. The results demonstrated that reducing the irrigation levels could promote the growth of wheat, resulting in an improved WUE. In crux, significant potential for further improving the efficiency of agricultural water usage in the region relies on effective soil moisture management and efficient use of water. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.


Crop modelling; Crop water productivity; Deficit irrigation; Irrigation management; Water sustainability

Published in

Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
2022, Volume: 29, number: 2, pages: 878-885
Publisher: ELSEVIER

      SLU Authors

    • Ahmed, Mukhtar

      • Arid Agriculture University
      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)