Special Issue "Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture under Global Change"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Blanco
Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Interests: agroeconomic modeling; policy impact assessment; water–energy–food nexus; circular economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Ms. Pilar Martínez

Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Interests: agricultural policy evaluation; bioeconomic modelling; water-food nexus; water economics; foresight analysis; water governance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is one of the most critical resources for sustainable agricultural development worldwide and thus plays an important role in global food security. According to FAO, irrigated agriculture represents about 70% of the total water withdrawals and provides 40% of the global food production.

Socio-economic pressures and climate change impose restrictions to water allocated to agriculture. Growing competition among different water uses, together with increased water vulnerability and scarcity because of climate change, will reduce water availability in agriculture. Nevertheless, global food demand is projected to increase until mid-century, so that improved water management is a priority to meet water and food security.

Moving towards sustainable water management in agriculture involves not only adoption of tecnological improvements but also changes in the social and institutional frameworks. Efforts are needed to assess water-food interlinkages, support the design of synergetic policy interventions and promote water reuse and transition to a circular economy.

Prof. Maria Blanco
Ms. Pilar Martínez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • socioeconomic and environmental analysis of water use in agriculture
  • integrated assessment of policy interventions for promoting sustainable water management in agriculture
  • assessment of vulnerability and resilience of agricultural systems to water related estress
  • bioeconomic modelling to assess food and water policies aiming at attaining the SDGs
  • water-energy-food nexus in a context of global change
  • water reuse in agriculture and transition to a more circular economy
  • water governance for agriculture
  • development of analytical tools to identify water-food interlinkages, assess trade-offs and synergies and support policy interventions to enhance agricultural sustainability.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sensitivity of Agricultural Development to Water-Related Drivers: The Case of Andalusia (Spain)
Water 2019, 11(9), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091854 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Future agricultural development will be challenged by the impacts of climate change on water, which are expected to be particularly strong in southern European regions. Thus, exploring interrelations between agriculture and water under climate change is essential to frame informed policies that ensure [...] Read more.
Future agricultural development will be challenged by the impacts of climate change on water, which are expected to be particularly strong in southern European regions. Thus, exploring interrelations between agriculture and water under climate change is essential to frame informed policies that ensure sustainable water management while enhancing food production. Nevertheless, studies that address future agriculture development focus on climate-induced changes in crop productivity and often disregard the water dimension. In this research, we have conducted a sensitivity analysis of agricultural development to drivers of water use in Andalusia in 2050 based on outcomes from the CAPRI-Water model. The results from the analysis show that water cost is the most determinant factor in shaping agricultural land, offsetting the impact of the driver of water availability. In contrast, irrigation water use is driven not only by water cost but also by irrigation efficiency. The magnitude of the sensitivity to these drivers differs significantly across crops. Policies aimed at improving resource use efficiency can contribute to strengthening the resilience and adaptation capacity of future agricultural systems to climate change. To achieve this goal, the policies must consider crop sensitivity to irrigation costs and the potential rebound effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture under Global Change)
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Open AccessArticle
An Index-Based Approach to Assess the Water Availability for Irrigated Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa
Water 2018, 10(7), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070896 - 05 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Agriculture is a major economic sector in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, where it contributes 32 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 65 percent of the population. However, SSA countries are farming only a small percentage of their potential cultivable area [...] Read more.
Agriculture is a major economic sector in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, where it contributes 32 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 65 percent of the population. However, SSA countries are farming only a small percentage of their potential cultivable area and are using only a fraction of their renewable water resources. Moreover, despite the importance of land and water resources in SSA, especially in rural areas, there has been little research on their potential. In this study, an index was developed to assess the potential for agriculture, considering renewable water availability of both surface water and groundwater. The index-based approach was then used to assess the potential increase in arable land area in 15 selected SSA countries. The selected countries were classified using the index, based on the availability of renewable water resources nationwide. We also assessed the future water demand by employing three scenarios and combining different rain-fed and irrigated options. The results show that, except for Zimbabwe, the current available surface water or groundwater resources could be sufficient to farm all of the potential cultivable areas in the selected countries when both rain-fed and irrigated systems are fully operational. The findings also indicate that targeted infrastructure projects (e.g., reservoirs, channels), crop management, and water saving techniques could improve surface and groundwater availability in the SSA region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture under Global Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Irrigated Agriculture Vulnerability under Climate Change in Southern Italy
Water 2018, 10(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020209 - 15 Feb 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Climate change in Mediterranean countries is anticipated to have a strong impact on water availability by exacerbating drought conditions and water scarcity. In this context, efficient irrigation practices are becoming essential for sustaining crop production. This work assesses vulnerability of irrigated agriculture for [...] Read more.
Climate change in Mediterranean countries is anticipated to have a strong impact on water availability by exacerbating drought conditions and water scarcity. In this context, efficient irrigation practices are becoming essential for sustaining crop production. This work assesses vulnerability of irrigated agriculture for six irrigation districts and their associated reservoirs in Mediterranean areas across Italy under climate change (1976–2005 versus 2036–2065; RCP 4.5 and 8.5), evaluating changes in irrigation requirements, evaporation from reservoirs, and the availability of freshwater supplies. Irrigation requirements are estimated through a crop water model (SIMETAW_R) integrated into a GIS platform, while inflows to reservoirs are hydrologically modelled as partitioning of precipitation contributing to runoff. Results are aggregated into indicators that show the general decreasing resilience and increasing vulnerability of irrigated agriculture under climate change conditions in each case study. The highest percentage of allowable water losses for irrigation is estimated in the Cuga-Alto Temo system, during the prolonged drought period, to be able to satisfy irrigation demand for less than a year. Climate change may only partially affect irrigation in resilient systems, in which storage capacity and the water level entering into the reservoir are considerably higher than the water distribution volumes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture under Global Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Effects of Water Management Strategies and Climate Change on the Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability of Urmia Lake Basin, Iran
Water 2018, 10(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020160 - 07 Feb 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
In arid and semi-arid areas, unsustainable development of irrigated agriculture has reduced the water level of large lakes such as Aral, Urmia, Hamoon, and Bakhtegan. Urmia Lake, as a hyper saline and very shallow lake, located in the northwest of Iran, has water [...] Read more.
In arid and semi-arid areas, unsustainable development of irrigated agriculture has reduced the water level of large lakes such as Aral, Urmia, Hamoon, and Bakhtegan. Urmia Lake, as a hyper saline and very shallow lake, located in the northwest of Iran, has water level reductions of about 40 cm each year over the past two decades. In this research, the indices of environmental and agricultural sustainability are evaluated using performance criteria influenced by climate change and water management strategies for the Zarrinehrud and Siminehrud River basins as the largest sub-basin of Urmia Lake basin. Modeling of hydrologic behavior of these basins is performed using WEAP21 model. The model is analyzed for three future emission scenarios (A2, A1B, and B1), for the period of 2015–2040 and five water management scenarios: (1) keeping the existing situation; (2) crop pattern change; (3) improving the conveyance and distribution efficiency; (4) combining the improvement of conveyance and distribution efficiency with improving the application efficiency using modern technology; and (5) the combination of crop pattern change with the improvement of total irrigation efficiency. The results show that the highest values of indices of environmental sustainability and agricultural sustainability are related to the scenario of combining the crop pattern change with improving the total irrigation efficiency under the B1 emission scenario (B1S4). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management in Agriculture under Global Change)
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