Soil and Water
Soil and water resources in the central Arava region are limited and saline. Efficient water and nutrient use is indispensable to secure sustainability of rural agriculture in the region. Therefore, the department investigates efficient fertigation managements, which will increase the yield and quality of the crops on one hand, and on the other, reduce water and agrochemical inputs. The predicted reduction in the irrigation water salinity necessitates us to investigate for optimal water quality and quantities that will yield the highest profits.
The department is focused on 2 main research programs:
- Increased water use efficiency - In these studies, we develop optimal fertigation managements, which can be suitable under conditions of limited water resources and brackish water. Investigation of partial nighttime irrigation for efficient salt leaching; subsurface drip irrigation in melons; an optimization of drip spacing and discharge for various crops, etc.
- Crop response to environmental stresses - studies of water drought and salt stress, under hyper-arid region in several vegetable and fruit crops. These studies will allow us an integrative understanding for application of an optimal irrigation water quality and quantity that guarantees highest profits.