Dr. Enciso’s research and extension efforts are focused on irrigation system design and management, including sprinkler irrigation, micro-irrigation, subsurface drip irrigation, surface irrigation, fertigation, and chemical injec t ion. This work also involves studies in deficit irrigation, water management, salinity management, drainage problems, and waste-water utilization. Dr. Enciso’s areas of expertise also include the hydraulics of irrigation networks and of irrigation components.
Arroyo Colorado Basin Agricultural Assessment. The objective of this project is to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of irrigation best management practices in reducing agricultural non-point source nutrients in the Arroyo Colorado. Flow in the Arroyo Colorado is sustained by wastewater discharges, agricultural irrigation return flows, urban runoff, and base flows from shallow groundwater. The Arroyo is the major source of fresh water to the Lower Laguna Madre, an economically and ecologically important resource to the region.
Efficient Water Use. A series of inter-related projects are designed to develop efficient agricultural water use protocols for crop production. For example, subsurface drip irrigation systems are evaluated for uniformity. These systems can deliver water to crops with uniformities higher than 90%, allowing fertilizers and chemicals to be applied through the water in small and frequent quantities, increasing application efficiencies, supplying nutrients as needed, while minimizing chemical loses. In other studies, drip, sprinkler and flood irrigation methods are evaluated for citrus, vegetables and row crops to determine productivity per unit of water applied. Water conservation in the production of onions and sorghum is being increased by scheduling irrigation to replace only part of the crop’s evapotranspiration - a management technique generally known as deficit irrigation. In cotton, subsurface drip irrigation has provided large increases in cotton lint yields by adding small amounts of fertilizers such as phosphorus. This research seeks the most appropriate methods for utilizing phosphorous, and seeks to determine the best way to apply nutrients, either by knifing directly into the soil or by injecting nutrients through the irrigation system.