Special Issue "Runoff Water Harvesting for Sustaining Agricultural Productivity and Increasing Food Security"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ilan Stavi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Dead-Sea and Arava Science Center, Tamar Regional Council, Yotvata 88820, Israel
Interests: ecohydrology; food security; geo-ecology; land use change; surface process
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Javier Lozano-Parra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Geografía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avda. Vicuña Mackenna, 4860 Santiago de Chile, Chile
Interests: hydrology; ecohydrology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Valdemir Antoneli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Campus de Irati, 84500 Irati, Paraná, Brazil
Interests: soil erosion; water connectivity; grazing faxinal system; tobacco orchard; soil water

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In water-limited environments, soil moisture is the major limiting factor for primary productivity. Many times, irrigation of crops in such environments encompasses a major on-farm agronomic input, with the corresponding high ecological, environmental, and economic impacts. In order to reduce these impacts, and considering the prevailing physical conditions, harvesting of runoff water may provide crops with at least some of the required water for allowing successful yield production. Such a strategy is of particular importance given the increase in human populations around the world, with the associated aggravated water scarcity. Moreover, this challenge is further exacerbated if global climatic change is taken into account, with anticipated long, warmer and dryer episodes in extensive parts of the world. The concept of this Special Issue is, therefore, to demonstrate judicious techniques for water runoff harvesting in agricultural systems. Of particular interest are those techniques that combine old and indigenous knowledge, with innovative and modern practices. It is expected that such systems could operate in an environmentally-friendly mode, simultanously providing water for crops, and sustaining ecosystem services.

Prof. Dr. Manuel Pulido Fernández
Prof. Dr. Ilan Stavi
Prof. Dr. Javier Lozano Parra
Prof. Dr. Valdemir Antoneli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Climate change

  • Water scarcity

  • Land management

  • Agricultural practices

  • Soil water

  • Precision farming

  • Sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Runoff Water as A Resource in the Campo de Cartagena (Region of Murcia): Current Possibilities for Use and Benefits
Water 2018, 10(4), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040456 - 10 Apr 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2462
Abstract
The scarcity of water in the Campo de Cartagena has limited its exploitation, which is why, historically, runoff water has been used through sustainable traditional practices which have been dismissed by technological advances. In order to demonstrate the potential of this resource at [...] Read more.
The scarcity of water in the Campo de Cartagena has limited its exploitation, which is why, historically, runoff water has been used through sustainable traditional practices which have been dismissed by technological advances. In order to demonstrate the potential of this resource at present, an analysis by interpolation of rainfall distribution in the sub-basin of the Rambla de Fuente Álamo-Albujón was carried out (for the intense rainfall episodes of 2012 and 2016) as well as hydraulic modelling of the estimation of surface runoff. In addition, taking into account the future climate scenarios, a projection of the total runoff in the study area was made up to the year 2100. The bibliographic review and the press analysis showed that the traditional use of runoff water has remained in disuse, although there are infrastructures to collect water from floods but with an eminently sanitary purpose. The current model of agricultural and touristic exploitation is giving rise to serious socio-environmental conflicts which manifest in obsolescence. Therefore, the increase in the availability of water with the use of a specific endogenous resource may lead to a decrease in the pressures exerted on the study area. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Spatiotemporal Effects of Land Use Changes on Runoff and Nitrate Loads in the Talar River
Water 2018, 10(4), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040445 - 08 Apr 2018
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
This research surveyed the effects of land use changes on flow nitrate pollution in the Talar River (northern Iran), using Landsat images of 1991 and 2013 and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The results indicated that forest areas decreased by 14.9% [...] Read more.
This research surveyed the effects of land use changes on flow nitrate pollution in the Talar River (northern Iran), using Landsat images of 1991 and 2013 and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The results indicated that forest areas decreased by 14.9% and irrigated crops, dry land farming areas, range lands and residential areas increased by 46.8%, 31.1%, 4.7% and 17.5%, respectively. To calibrate and validate the studied period, the Nash Sutcliffe model efficiency (NSE) and coefficient of determination (R2) were applied, ranging from 0.57 to 0.75 and from 0.62 to 0.76 for flow simulation and 0.84 and 0.63 and 0.75 and 0.83 for nitrate simulation, respectively. The results of land use scenarios indicated that respective water flow and nitrate loads increased by 34.4% and 42.2% in 1991–2013 and may even increase by 42.3% and 55.9% in the simulated period of 2013–2050 in all sub-basins. It is likely that the main reason for these results was due to the increase in agricultural activities and the decrease in forestry areas. Our findings showed the useful combination of modelling techniques (land cover changes and SWAT) to develop valuable maps able to design correct land management plans and nature-based solutions for water quality of runoff water harvesting systems in the future. Full article
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Article
Economic Evaluation of Hydrological Ecosystem Services in Mediterranean River Basins Applied to a Case Study in Southern Italy
Water 2018, 10(3), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030241 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
Land use affects eco-hydrological processes with consequences for floods and droughts. Changes in land use affect ecosystems and hydrological services. The objective of this study is the analysis of hydrological services through the quantification of water resources, pollutant loads, land retention capacity and [...] Read more.
Land use affects eco-hydrological processes with consequences for floods and droughts. Changes in land use affect ecosystems and hydrological services. The objective of this study is the analysis of hydrological services through the quantification of water resources, pollutant loads, land retention capacity and soil erosion. On the basis of a quantitative evaluation, the economic values of the ecosystem services are estimated. By assigning an economic value to the natural resources and to the hydraulic system, the hydrological services can be computed at the scale of catchment ecosystem. The proposed methodology was applied to the basin “Bonis” (Calabria Region, Italy). The study analyses four land use scenarios: (i) forest cover with good vegetative status (baseline scenario); (ii) modification of the forest canopy; (iii) variation in forest and cultivated surfaces; (iv) insertion of impermeable areas. The simulations prove that the variations of the state of forest areas has considerable influence on the water balance, and then on the provided economic value. Small economic changes derive from reducing the impermeable areas. Increasing the agricultural area to 50% of the total, and reducing the forest surface, affects soil erosion, reduces the storage capacity of the water, and consequently the water harvesting. The suggested methodology can be considered a suitable tool for land planning. Full article
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Article
Cascade Cropping System with Horticultural and Ornamental Plants under Greenhouse Conditions
Water 2018, 10(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020125 - 30 Jan 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
The blending of drainage with water of low electrical conductivity and the sequential reuse of the drainage water are innovative technologies to manage salts in agricultural drainage. Plants of Cucumis melo were grown in coir grow bags, and Rosmarinus officinalis and Cacti spp. [...] Read more.
The blending of drainage with water of low electrical conductivity and the sequential reuse of the drainage water are innovative technologies to manage salts in agricultural drainage. Plants of Cucumis melo were grown in coir grow bags, and Rosmarinus officinalis and Cacti spp. were grown in pots with a mixture of sphagnum peat-moss and perlite. In order to assess the effect and evolution over time of these water treatments on plant growth and water management and removal of nutrients, three water treatments were applied over a period of eight weeks. These were: (1) standard nutrient solution; (2) blended water treatment (drainage water blended with water of low electrical conductivity (EC)) and (3) sequential reuse of drainage water treatment. During the experimental growing period, samples of water supplies and drainages generated in each water treatment were collected weekly and from these data water volume and nutrient loads were calculated. At the end of the experiment, leaf fresh weight of rosemary plants decreased under the fertigation with the blended and sequential reuse water treatments. Nevertheless, the application of blended and sequentially reused water allowed for the saving of significant amounts of water and nutrients in comparison to the standard nutrient solution treatment. Considering these advantages, we strongly recommend the setting-up of these water treatments in areas with water scarcity such as in the Mediterranean Basin. Full article
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