How efficient is water management on your property?

Check only those answers with which you feel identified. According to the qualification table, assign a value to your answer and add the scores obtained. Identify the range you are in.

1. From your property you ...

to. He knows that the supply of water is sufficient to supply the demand.
b. He knows that the supply of water is not sufficient to irrigate in a timely manner.
c. He is not sure how much the offer is, but he believes that it is enough because it has always reached him and makes him yield.
d. You don't know her.

2. How do you determine the time to water?

to. By observing the crop.
b. Use sensors.
c. Use the water balance.
d. Once the irrigation finishes, the work begins again.

3. The amount of water applied in each irrigation is measured ...

to. With flowmeter.
b. With gutters.
c. With bucket and sack.
d. It does not measure.

4. When there is low rainfall, the average frequency of irrigation on your farm is ...

to. Between 15 and 25 days.
b. Between 30 and 35 days.
c. More than 35 days. 
d. You don't know the frequency.

5. From your luck you know ...

to. Soil consociation.
b. Soil texture.
c. The agro-ecological zone.
d. None of the above.

6. For irrigation event in germination stage in your crop apply between:

to. 400 and 800 m3/ ha of water.
b. 800 and 1000 m3/ ha of water.
c. 1000 and 1200 m3/ ha of water.
d. More than 1200 m3/ ha of water.

7. Irrigation in the cultivation of sugar cane ...

to. Represents between 30-60% of total production costs.
b. It costs between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000 if the water source is shallow or $ 250,000 and $ 350,000 if the water is pumped from the well.
c. It is an expensive task, but there are other tasks that represent higher costs
d. A and b.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.6.7.
to: 3 to: 2 to: 3 to: 3 to: 2 to: 3to: 2
b: 2 b: 3 b: 3 b: 2 b: 2 b: 2b: 2
c: 1 c: 3 c: 2 c: 1 c: 3 c: 1c: 1
d: 1 d: 1 d: 1 d: 1 d: 1 d: 1d: 3

Do you feel identified?

Add up your scores and check what rank you are on.

From 7 - 14 points:

He probably considers that the water balance is useless because he could not apply irrigation in the time indicated by the program and has rejected irrigation systems that offer better application efficiencies, because he believes that these will not guarantee savings or that the water will reach in dry seasons . It is also likely to conduct water superficially, implying high losses from the source to the irrigation site.

Recommendation: Do not make decisions without being certain of what is happening on your property. Therefore, start by knowing the supply and demand for water on your farm, that is, make the hydrological balance; and know the cost of water and irrigation on your property.

It is important to understand that you can improve irrigation efficiency by measuring the applied volume of water per hectare through the administrative control of irrigation (CAR) or by programming the irrigation with the water balance or by means of sensors.

Today the agro-industry offers different alternatives to know and implement these technologies, such as the Technology Transfer Groups (GTT) and the short courses of the Technical Assistance Learning Program (PAT), programmed by Cenicaña. You can also request training or support directly from the mill.

From 15 - 18 points:

You are one of those growers who recognize the advantages of programming irrigation and measuring water volumes; but he no longer remembers when the last measurement he made or simply when making decisions (for example, when is the time to water) relies more on his judgment or that of the butler.

Recommendation: Review each of your answers and see in which question you get the fewest points to identify if your deficiencies are in water supply, measurement, programming or ignorance of the agronomic characteristics of your farm, and accordingly consult your technical assistant or the mill .

As you already know the technologies, be encouraged to implement them judiciously and continuously, only in this way you will see their advantages both in the efficient use of water and in the administration of the property.

An alternative is to attend GTTs. There you will be able to interact with the professionals of the Research Center and find answers to your concerns.

From 19 - 21 points:

Congratulations. Probably your property has a positive hydrological balance because it is efficient in the management and administration of the property from a water point of view.

Thanks to this, possibly in times of low water availability it has less risk of diminishing its productivity due to its effect and can mitigate the impact of climatic phenomena such as El Niño.

You are a leading farmer who is not only contributing to the environment with your efficient use of water, but can motivate others to do the same.

Recommendation: Attend the GTTs organized by Cenicaña to listen to the problems of others and share your experience.

Hydrological balance! I need it?

The hydrological balance is a calculation that allows planning irrigation, requesting surface water concessions, requesting permits for deep wells and evaluating the ideal irrigation system and utilities.

The hydrological balance is the difference between the supply of water on the property (how much water do I have and when?) And the irrigation requirement at the source (how much water do I need and when?), Taking into account the efficiencies of the irrigation. Its calculation is made based on data from a period greater than 10 years.

The mills currently have trained professional personnel, who can guide growers in how to calculate.

Also in Cenicaña a training course was opened on criteria for calculating. Check out the training program at and get going.

More information at the Technical Cooperation and Technology Transfer Service: 602 5246611 ext. 5022-5023. 

General recommendations

If the volume of water applied per hectare is greater than 1200 m3/he has

  • Measure and adjust the applied volume of water per hectare.
  • Perform precision leveling on renovations.
  • Perform the minimum sequence of tasks in soil preparation (subsolar with AEPS approach).
  • Train operational personnel.

If the supply of water from the sources is insufficient

  • Measure the surface sources in the irrigation season and record the values.
  • Set the well flowmeters down and record the values.
  • Define the supply of water in the irrigation season.

If the irrigation system is not efficient

  • Identify the conditions of the property to select the irrigation system.
  • Select the flow, irrigation method, water sheet and application time.
  • Evaluate and control the volume of water applied in each irrigation event.

If the channels are open in light soils (high infiltration rate)

  • Consider using poly tubular or buried tubing.
  • Consider lining the channels.
To consult

At a series of recommendations to face periods of drought.

Information Letter | OCT 2018: 12-13
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