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Water 2015, 7(11), 6351-6377; doi:10.3390/w7116351

Expansion of an Existing Water Management Model for the Analysis of Opportunities and Impacts of Agricultural Irrigation under Climate Change Conditions

1
Institute of Landscape Hydrology, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg D-15374, Germany
2
Institute of Socio-Economics, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg D-15374, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
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Abstract

The impact of climate change and increased irrigation area on future hydrologic and agro-economic conditions was analysed for a representative basin in northeastern Germany using an expanded version of the WBalMO (water balance model) for water management. The model expansion represents various temporally and spatially differentiated irrigation water use processes, including agricultural irrigation, as part of a river basin’s water management. We show that climate changes lead to increased irrigation water demands in the future, which will not always be able to be met. The resulting water deficits were shown for different crops depending on their irrigation priority and the water available. With an increased irrigation area, water deficits will rise. This may limit the profitability of agricultural irrigation. The impacts of climate change on low-flow conditions in the river are much higher than those of the increase in irrigated area alone. Therefore, any additional increases of irrigation will require careful monitoring of water availability to avoid critical impacts on river flows. The expanded model was able to replicate the processes of agricultural irrigation water use and can thus be used to test the impact of policies such as the certification of new irrigation permits. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural irrigation; water resources management; climate change; farm economics; water supply; water management model agricultural irrigation; water resources management; climate change; farm economics; water supply; water management model
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Steidl, J.; Schuler, J.; Schubert, U.; Dietrich, O.; Zander, P. Expansion of an Existing Water Management Model for the Analysis of Opportunities and Impacts of Agricultural Irrigation under Climate Change Conditions. Water 2015, 7, 6351-6377.

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