Special Issue "Climate Smart Irrigation Management for Sustainable Agricultural Cultivation"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vito Cantore
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Via Amendola, 122/O, 70125, Bari, Italy
Interests: evapotranspiration; irrigation management; water stress; salinity stress; water use efficiency; sustainable water management; vegetables; irrigation DSS; sustainable fertilization
Dr. Francesca Boari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Via Amendola, 122/O, 70125, Bari, Italy
Interests: evapotranspiration; irrigation management; water quality; ecophysiology; abiotic stress; vegetables; yield quality
Prof. Mladen Todorovic
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CIHEAM—Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy
Interests: water management in agriculture; irrigation; soil water balance and crop growth modeling; climate change impact; adaptation and mitigation; eco-efficiency
Dr. Angelo Parente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Via Amendola, 122/O, 70125, Bari, Italy
Interests: open field and greenhouse horticulture; soilless cultivation techniques; sensor-based fertigation management; improvement of water use efficiency in horticulture; mineral plant nutrition; composting and reuse of organic waste materials; yield and quality of vegetables
Prof. Ioannis L. Tsirogiannis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Ioannina, Department of Agriculture, UoI Kostakii Campus, 47040 Arta, Greece
Interests: design, management, and auditing of irrigation; drainage systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Nikolaos Malamos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Technology, Theodoropoulou Terma, 27200, Amaliada, Greece
Interests: mathematical simulation and analysis of water resources systems (with emphasis in agricultural uses); soil–water movement; soil–water–plants–atmosphere relationships; water resources management; irrigation techniques; hydroinformatics; spatial analysis
Dr. Francesco Fabiano Montesano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR-ISPA), Via Amendola, 122/O, 70125, Bari, Italy
Interests: greenhouse cultivation techniques; soilless cultivation techniques; sensor-based fertigation management in horticulture; improvement of water use efficiency in horticulture; mineral plant nutrition; biofortification of vegetables
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On the global scale, only 20% of agricultural land is currently irrigated. Nevertheless, it produces more than 40% of the world’s food requirements. In the years to come, the demand for water in agriculture will continue to grow to meet the increase in food needs for an ever-growing world population. Moreover, the impact of climate variability and change on agricultural production will be enhanced, which will trigger additional water needs in the agricultural sector and a possible extension of irrigated land. However, fresh water resources are limited (especially in irrigated, usually arid and semiarid, regions), where water requirements of other sectors (domestic, industrial, environment) are expected to increase as well. Therefore, the challenge of irrigated agriculture is to produce more food of better quality with less water and with an optimized use of other resources, like nutrients and energy.

To respond to the above challenge, a myriad of climate-smart irrigation options has been under investigation in the last few years, including the adoption of new cultivars which are more resistant to abiotic stresses, the latest generation of monitoring sensors and irrigation management tools, integration of remote sensing and field data to optimize plant response to specific growing conditions, novel management strategies based on sustainable and eco-efficient use of resources, use of anti-transpirants, organic mulching material, soil conditioners, etc.

The general objective of this Special Issue (SI) is, therefore, to gather the results of the most recent research on climate smart irrigation practices and techniques that can be applied to promote sustainable crop cultivation under various pedo-climatic conditions and constraints. In particular, the research topics related to the efficient management of irrigation both in an open field and in greenhouses will be covered in this issue.

All types of manuscripts (original research, reviews, short communications, letters to editor, and discussions) are welcome.

Articles may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Agronomic practices (e.g., sowing/planting methods, soil management, cultivars) that can lead to water saving;
  • Irrigation strategies and techniques that optimize water, nutrient, and energy use;
  • Advanced tools, sensors, and monitoring techniques for sustainable irrigation management;
  • Use of nonconventional water resources for irrigation (treated wastewater, saline and brackish water);
  • Innovative approaches for performance evaluation of irrigation at farm and scheme scale.

Dr. Vito Cantore
Dr. Francesca Boari
Prof. Mladen Todorovic
Dr. Angelo Parente
Prof. Ioannis L. Tsirogiannis
Dr. Nikolaos Malamos
Dr. Francesco Fabiano Montesano

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 semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • water use efficiency
  • water saving
  • DSS
  • climate change
  • irrigation management tools
  • nonconventional water resources

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Estimating Surface and Groundwater Irrigation Potential under Different Conservation Agricultural Practices and Irrigation Systems in the Ethiopian Highlands
Water 2021, 13(12), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121645 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 312
Abstract
This study was conducted at the Dangishta watershed in the Ethiopian highlands to evaluate irrigation potential from surface and groundwater sources under different farming and water application systems. Daily streamflow and the groundwater table were monitored from 2015 to 2017. Shallow groundwater recharge [...] Read more.
This study was conducted at the Dangishta watershed in the Ethiopian highlands to evaluate irrigation potential from surface and groundwater sources under different farming and water application systems. Daily streamflow and the groundwater table were monitored from 2015 to 2017. Shallow groundwater recharge was estimated using the water table fluctuation method. Automated baseflow separation techniques were used to determine the amount of runoff and baseflow from the total streamflow records. The potential of groundwater and runoff to sustain dry season irrigation (i.e., low flow) was evaluated considering two tillage systems (i.e., conservation agriculture, CA; and conventional tillage, CT), and water application (i.e., drip and overhead) systems for major irrigated crops (i.e., onion, garlic, cabbage, and pepper) grown in the Dangishta watershed. We found that the annual groundwater recharge varied from 320 to 358 mm during the study period, which was about 17% to 22% of the annual rainfall. The annual surface runoff depth ranged from 192 to 268 mm from 2015 to 2017. The results reveal that the maximum seasonal irrigable land from groundwater recharge was observed under CA with drip irrigation (i.e., 2251 and 2992 ha from groundwater recharge and surface runoff, respectively). By comparison, in the CT practice with overhead irrigation, the lowest seasonal irrigable land was observed (i.e., 1746 and 2121 ha from groundwater and surface runoff, respectively). From the low flow analysis, about 199 and 173 ha of one season’s irrigable land could be irrigated using the CA and CT systems, respectively, both with drip irrigation. Similarly, two-season overhead irrigation potential from low flow under CA and CT was found to be about 87 and 76 ha, respectively. The dry season irrigable land using low flow could be increased from 9% to 16% using the CA system for the various vegetables, whereas drip irrigation could increase the irrigable land potential by 56% compared to overhead irrigation. The combined use of groundwater recharge and runoff could sustain up to 94% of the dry season low flow irrigation through the combination of the CA system and drip irrigation. Decision makers must consider the introduction of feasible and affordable technologies to make use of groundwater and direct runoff, to maximize the potential of dry season production through efficient and appropriate CA and water management practices. Full article
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Article
Are Water User Associations Prepared for a Second-Generation Modernization? The Case of the Valencian Community (Spain)
Water 2020, 12(8), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082136 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
This work focuses on the situation of the technological transition to new technologies in drip irrigation in the Valencian Community (Spain). The study covers the last decade with data from interviews to managers of Irrigation Communities in 2010 and 2018. We analyze the [...] Read more.
This work focuses on the situation of the technological transition to new technologies in drip irrigation in the Valencian Community (Spain). The study covers the last decade with data from interviews to managers of Irrigation Communities in 2010 and 2018. We analyze the main technological problems in seven topics: (i) Catchment & Pumping; (ii) Storage & Regulation; (iii) Treatment & Filtering; (iv) Transport & Distribution; (v) Maneuver, Regulation & Protection; (vi) Automation; (vii) Theft and Vandalism. We also have researched the influence of the performance of the Automation system, the presence of a technician in the Irrigation Community and the use of sensors or climatic data. Results show that problems related to technological maintenance of filtering systems or automation are very common and important and they are more important in large Irrigation Communities. We have also observed that mostly large ICs are using sensors or climatic data for their irrigation schedule. We can conclude that their current situation is focused in the daily maintenance of technological problems, inherited from the first modernization processes at the beginning of 21st century. Hence, they are far away from a second stage of modernization or the smart irrigation pushed by the new advances on technology. Full article
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Article
The Application of Ground-Based and Satellite Remote Sensing for Estimation of Bio-Physiological Parameters of Wheat Grown Under Different Water Regimes
Water 2020, 12(8), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082095 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Remote sensing technologies have been widely studied for the estimation of crop biometric and physiological parameters. The number of sensors and data acquisition methods have been increasing, and their evaluation is becoming a necessity. The aim of this study was to assess the [...] Read more.
Remote sensing technologies have been widely studied for the estimation of crop biometric and physiological parameters. The number of sensors and data acquisition methods have been increasing, and their evaluation is becoming a necessity. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of two remote sensing data for describing the variations of biometric and physiological parameters of durum wheat grown under different water regimes (rainfed, 50% and 100% of irrigation requirements). The experimentation was carried out in Policoro (Southern Italy) for two growing seasons. The Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 images and radiometric ground-based data were acquired regularly during the growing season with plant biometric (leaf area index and dry aboveground biomass) and physiological (stomatal conductance, net assimilation, and transpiration rate) parameters. Water deficit index was closely related to plant water status and crop physiological parameters. The enhanced vegetation index showed slightly better performance than the normalized difference vegetation index when plotted against the leaf area index with R2 = 0.73. The overall results indicated that the ground-based vegetation indices were in good agreement with the satellite-based indices. The main constraint for effective application of satellite-based indices remains the presence of clouds during the acquisition time, which is particularly relevant for winter–spring crops. Therefore, the integration of remote sensing and field data might be needed to optimize plant response under specific growing conditions and to enhance agricultural production. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Impact of Climate Change on Paddy Water Balance Using APEX-Paddy Model
Water 2020, 12(3), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030852 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1558 | Correction
Abstract
This research aims to assess the impact of climate change on water balance components in irrigated paddy cultivation. The APEX-Paddy model, which is the modified version of the APEX (Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender) model for paddy ecosystems, was used to evaluate the paddy water [...] Read more.
This research aims to assess the impact of climate change on water balance components in irrigated paddy cultivation. The APEX-Paddy model, which is the modified version of the APEX (Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender) model for paddy ecosystems, was used to evaluate the paddy water balance components considering future climate scenarios. The bias-corrected future projections of climate data from 29 GCMs (General Circulation Models) were applied to the APEX-Paddy model simulation. The study area (Jeonju station) forecasts generally show increasing patterns in rainfall, maximum temperature, and minimum temperature with a rate of up to 23%, 27%, and 45%, respectively. The hydrological simulations suggest over-proportional runoff–rainfall and under-proportional percolation and deep-percolation–rainfall relationships for the modeled climate scenarios. Climate change scenarios showed that the evapotranspiration amount was estimated to decrease compared to the baseline period (1976–2005). The evaporation was likely to increase by 0.12%, 2.21%, and 7.81% during the 2010s, 2040s, and 2070s, respectively under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)8.5, due to the increase in temperature. The change in evaporation was more pronounced in RCP8.5 than the RCP4.5 scenario. The transpiration is expected to reduce by 2.30% and 12.62% by the end of the century (the 2070s) under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, due to increased CO2 concentration. The irrigation water demand is generally expected to increase over time in the future under both climate scenarios. Compared to the baseline, the most significant change is expected to increase in the 2040s by 3.21% under RCP8.5, while the lowest increase was found by 0.36% in 2010s under RCP4.5. The increment of irrigation does not show a significant difference; the rate of increase in the irrigation was found to be greater RCP8.5 than RCP4.5 except in the 2070s. The findings of this study can play a significant role as the basis for evaluating the vulnerability of rice production concerning water management against climate change. Full article
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Article
The Influence of a Water Absorbing Geocomposite on Soil Water Retention and Soil Matric Potential
Water 2019, 11(8), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081731 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
Climate change induces droughts that are becoming more intensive and more frequent than ever before. Most of the available forecast tools predict a further significant increase in the risk of drought, which indicates the need to prepare solutions to mitigate its effects. Growing [...] Read more.
Climate change induces droughts that are becoming more intensive and more frequent than ever before. Most of the available forecast tools predict a further significant increase in the risk of drought, which indicates the need to prepare solutions to mitigate its effects. Growing water scarcity is now one of the world’s leading challenges. In agriculture and environmental engineering, in order to increase soil water retention, soil additives are used. In this study, the influence of a newly developed water absorbing geocomposite (WAG) on soil water retention and soil matric potential was analyzed. WAG is a special element made from geotextile which is wrapped around a synthetic skeleton with a superabsorbent polymer placed inside. To describe WAG’s influence on soil water retention and soil matric potential, coarse sand, loamy sand, and sandy loam soils were used. WAG in the form of a mat was used in the study as a treatment. Three kinds of samples were prepared for every soil type. Control samples and samples with WAG treatment placed at depths of 10 cm and 20 cm were examined in a test container of 105 × 70 × 50 cm dimensions. The samples had been watered and drained, and afterwards, the soil surface was heated by lamps of 1100 W total power constantly for 72 h. Soil matric potential was measured by Irrometer field tensiometers at three depths. Soil moisture content was recorded at six depths: of 5, 9, 15, 19, 25, and 30 cm under the top of the soil surface with time-domain reflectometry (TDR) measurement devices. The values of soil moisture content and soil matric potential were collected in one-minute steps, and analyzed in 24-h-long time steps: 24, 48, and 72 h. The samples with the WAG treatment lost more water than the control samples. Similarly, lower soil matric potential was noted in the samples with the WAG than in the control samples. However, after taking into account the water retained in the WAG, it appeared that the samples with the WAG had more water easily available for plants than the control samples. It was found that the mechanism of a capillary barrier affected higher water loss from soil layers above those where the WAG had been placed. The obtained results of water loss depend on the soil type used in the profile. Full article
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Correction
Correction: Kamruzzaman, M., et al. Evaluating the Impact of Climate Change on Paddy Water Balance Using APEX-Paddy Model. Water 2020, 12, 852
Water 2020, 12(4), 1221; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041221 - 24 Apr 2020
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Effects of Sensor- and DSS- based Irrigation Management on Water Saving, LCA and Water Footprint of Zucchini Under Mediterranean Greenhouse Conditions.

Montesano et al.

Plant Conditioners affect Water Use, Yield, Water Use Efficiency, and can Mitigate Abiotic Stress. A Review.

Cantore et al.

Reclaimed water for vineyard irrigation in a Mediterranean context: Life cycle environmental impacts, life cycle costs, and eco-efficiency

Canaj et al.

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