Water is a vital resource to sustain civilizations and pecuniary development and most importantly agriculture. Agriculture is the main contributor to the Ethiopian economy. The field experiment was conducted at Werer Agricultural Research center to evaluate the effects of drip and furrow irrigation under different irrigation levels on maize water use efficiency. The experiment was laid out in an RCBD split-plot arrangement where drip and furrow irrigations were assigned as the main plot and irrigation levels (100, 85, 70, and 55% of ETc) were assigned in the subplot arrangement with three blocks. The highest seasonal water requirement of maize was 701.7 mm at 100% ETc under conventional furrow irrigation which is considered as control while the lowest was 321.6 mm at 55% ETc under alternative furrow irrigation. The interaction effects of irrigation systems and irrigation levels have shown a highly significant (p<0.01) effect on water use efficiency. The highest (2.38 kg/m3) and the lowest (0.60kg/m3) water use efficiency were recorded from the plots treated with drip irrigation at 100% ETc and conventional furrow irrigation at 100% ETc treatments, respectively. In terms of water use efficiency and economic prominence, irrigating with a drip irrigation system with 100% ETc can be recommended for the production of maize in the study area.
Keywords: Agriculture, Efficiency, Irrigation, Main plot, Split plot