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This study is targeted to improve surface irrigation performance of durum wheat in swelling soils. For this purpose, furrow and border irrigation trials were carried out and evaluated under different soil water depletion rates, furrow spacing and unitary inlet discharges. Irrigation was triggered whenever the soil water depletion rate reached a predetermined threshold. A comprehensive irrigation evaluation produced hydraulic, agronomic and economic indicators, such as application efficiency, distribution uniformity, crop yield, gross margin and water productivity. Experimental results showed that supplied water depths exceeded soil water deficits, inducing relevant vertical and lateral water losses. Al- though border and furrow irrigation crop yields were virtually tantamount (about 5.5 Mg/ha), furrow irrigation was the system of choice. An irrigation strategy based on a furrow spacing of 150 cm, an inlet discharge of 2 l/s/furrow and a soil water depletion rate of 30% required a gross water depth of 4300 m3/ha/yr and generated an optimum crop yield of 58 qx/ha. In the analyzed range of soil water depletion, the gross margin and water value amounted to 1064 - 1390 Tunisian Dinar per hectare (TD/ha) and 0.39 - 0.44 TD/m3, respectively, for a furrow spacing of 150 cm.