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Member

Difference Between Effective Rainfall and Available Water Capacity

Effective rainfall refers to the portion of a rainfall that infiltrates into the soil, is stored in the crop root zone and is useful for crop production (Irrigation Association, 2005),

 

 So is it the same as Available Water Capacity or Available Water Content (AWC) - the range of available water that can be stored in soil and be available for growing crops)?

 

Or did I miss something ? Can I get some clarification ?

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4 Replies
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Senior Advisor

Re: Difference Between Effective Rainfall and Available Water Capacity

Just guessing here, but Effective Rainfall might be water from one rain event only where AWC might be considered total amount of water available. Like I stated, only guessing.
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Advisor

Re: Difference Between Effective Rainfall and Available Water Capacity

 Available water  capacity is the maximum amount of plant available water a soil can provide. It  is an indicator of a soil’s ability to retain water and make it sufficiently available  for plant use.  Taken from this web site; http://www.soilquality.org/indicators/available_water_capacity.html

 

On my farm, my heavy clay soil has an infiltration rate of .25 inches/hour.  It also gives up moisture at a slow rate as well.  It is extremely slow in releasing water.

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Member

Re: Difference Between Effective Rainfall and Available Water Capacity

Hi !

 

I found those definitions of Effective Rainfall:

 

The effective rainfall (8) is the total rainfall (1) minus runoff (4) minus evaporation (5) and minus deep percolation (7); only the water retained in the root zone (8) can be used by the plants, and represents what is called the effective part of the rainwater. The term effective rainfall is used to define this fraction of the total amount of rainwater useful for meeting the water need of the crops.

 

Effective rainfall refers to the percentage of rainfall which becomes available to plants and crops. It considers losses due to runoff, evaporation and deep percolation. Its always best to use actual observations or measurements to estimate the amount of effective rainfall for a particular site.

 

Those defintion seem very close from AWC

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Contributor

Re: Difference Between Effective Rainfall and Available Water Capacity

  • Knowing seasonal crop water requirements is crucial for planning your crop mixture.
  • Net crop requirements are estimated using models, based on weather variables.
  • To irrigate for the greatest return, producers need to understand how crops respond to water, how crop rotation enhances water availability, and how changes in agronomic practices affect water needs.

Crop water use, consumptive use and evapotranspiration (ET), are terms used interchangeably to describe the water consumed by a crop. This water is mainly used for cooling purposes; a negligible amount is retained by the crop for growth.

 

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