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Scale Effects of Ecological Safety of Water-Saving Irrigation: A Case Study in the Arid Inland River Basin of Northwest China

by 1 and 1,2,3,*
1
Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091886
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 5 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Water cycles exist in all processes of water resources utilization, including water-saving irrigation. Due to the complex water cycle process of irrigation, the ecological effects and safety of large-scale water-saving irrigation have received increasing attention. This paper analyzed both the positive and negative ecological effects of water-saving irrigation and the scale effects from the plant-scale to the watershed-scale. Based on the Vensim and GMS (Groundwater Modeling System) models, a quantitative evaluation method of ecological safety of large-scale water-saving irrigation was proposed. The case study in Changma Irrigation District in the arid inland river basin of Northwest China showed that the ecological safety of large-scale water-saving irrigation was sensitive to the combination of water source condition, water distribution technology and water-saving irrigation technology in field. In terms of the positive effects, large-scale water-saving irrigation can reduce the percolation loss of irrigation water, increase the environment water flow for the downstream, and slow down the salinity accumulation. As for the negative effects, large-scale water-saving irrigation could reduce the groundwater recharge, decrease the environment water supply in local farmland, and cut down the soil salinity leakage. The research results have positive significance for guiding the sustainable development of water-saving irrigation and conservation of ecosystem in an arid inland river basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: large-scale water-saving irrigation; scale effects; ecological safety evaluation; simulation model; Shule River Basin large-scale water-saving irrigation; scale effects; ecological safety evaluation; simulation model; Shule River Basin
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Jiang, G.; Wang, Z. Scale Effects of Ecological Safety of Water-Saving Irrigation: A Case Study in the Arid Inland River Basin of Northwest China. Water 2019, 11, 1886.

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