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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2004  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 188 - 190

Evaluation of the Benefits of Infiltration Pits on Soil Moisture in Semi-arid Zimbabwe

F.T. Mugabe    

Abstract: Rainfall is low and erratic in the semi-arid areas such that crop production fails in most years. Water harvesting techniques have been observed to harvest and concentrate rainwater and this results in increased soil moisture and yields. Most of this study has been done on in-field water harvesting techniques while there has not been any similar work to evaluate the benefits of in-contour water harvesting techniques on soil moisture and crop yields. Soil water storage was monitored above and below an infiltration pit over a season to identify differences in soil water storage of access tubes that are at different distances both above and below an infiltration pit. Soil moisture storage in the access tubes decreased from the infiltration pit both down slope and up slope. The difference in soil moisture between these access tubes increased during dry periods. The study highlights that the benefits of infiltration pits on soil moisture are realised during the dry spells because the water that is captured by the infiltration pits slowly seeps downwards to replenish soil moisture that is lost through evapotranspiration.

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