What is Consumptive Use of Water and Factors Affecting it

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It is the quantity of water used by the vegetation growth of a given area. It is the amount of water required by a crop for its vegetated growth to evapotranspiration and building of plant tissues plus evaporation from soils and intercepted precipitation. It is expressed in terms of depth of water. Consumptive use varies with temperature, humidity, wind speed, topography, sunlight hours, method of irrigation, moisture availability.


Consumptive Use = Evapotranspiration = Evaporation + transpiration It is expressed in terms of depth of water.

Factors Affecting the Consumptive Use of Water

Consumptive use of water varies with:

  1. Evaporation which depends on humidity
  2. Mean Monthly temperature
  3. Growing season of crops and cropping pattern
  4. Monthly precipitation in area
  5. Wind velocity in locality
  6. Soil and topography
  7. Irrigation practices and method of irrigation
  8. Sunlight hours

Types of Consumptive Water Use

Following are the types of consumptive use:

  1. Optimum Consumptive Use
  2. Potential Consumptive Use
  3. Seasonal Consumptive Use

1. Optimum Consumptive Use:

It is the consumptive use which produces a maximum crop yield.

2. Potential Consumptive Use:

If sufficient moisture is always available to completely meet the needs of vegetation fully covering the entire area then resulting evapotranspiration is known as Potential Consumptive Use.

3. Seasonal Consumptive Use:

The total amount of water used in the evapo-transpiration by a cropped area during the entire growing season.

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