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Special Issue "Digitalisation of Water Management in Agriculture"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Davide Viaggi

Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin, 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural policy evaluation; bioeconomy; water policy; environmental impact assessment and resource economics; evaluation of technical change and innovation in agriculture and food; farm investment behaviour; land markets; public goods in agriculture and forestry
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Galioto

University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water policy; environmental and resource economics; innovation in water management; economics of information
Guest Editor
Dr. Meri Raggi

University of Bologna, Department of Statistical Sciences, Via Belle Arti, 41, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sample theory; primary data collection; environmental impact assessment in particular referred to water resources; discrete choice model; monetary valuation of public goods (contingent valuation; choice experiments) principal-agent models, multivariate statistical methodologies
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giacomo Zanni

University of Ferrara, ENDIF - ENgineering Department In Ferrara, Via Saragat, 1 44100 Ferrara, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural economics; environmental impact assessment in agriculture; innovation in agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The advancement of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the agricultural sector is opening up new opportunities to encourage the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and resource use by providing more timely and low-cost information services to farmers, as well as assist private and public agencies in coordinating agricultural agents. The potential benefits brought about with the use of ICTs in agriculture is particularly relevant for the management of water resources at different operational levels. Regional Environmental Agencies, Local Water Authorities, Advisory services and Farmers are thought to be the first recipient of such instruments. A sweeping progress of monitoring devices (field and plant sensors, meteorological information) and forecasting tools is contributing to increase the reliability of the information needed to support the ordinary management of water resources and to prevent from extreme weather events. This is accompanied by an improvement on data acquisition through decision support systems (DSS), increasing the ease of use of such technologies. As a consequence, the technological advancement of the digitalization of water management is knocking down knowledge and skills barriers to manage large body of information and complex equipment allowing the use of such technologies by an increasing number of potential beneficiaries. On the other hand, facing a number of potential technologies available, actual uptake is often lower than expected, highlighting uncertainties about the economic benefits of these tools and a number of barriers to development and adoption.

This Special Issue of Water calls for any contribution on this subject, taking an economic, management or policy perspective; the aim is to highlight weaknesses, strengths, limits and opportunities from these tools. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

1.     Adoption mechanisms and profitability of precision irrigation in farms;
2.     Use of ICT for coordination between farmers, irrigation boards and water authorities;
3.     Use of digital tools for dealing with droughts and extreme weather events;
4.     Enabling factors and policy design to promote digitalisation of agriculture;
5.     Value of information and tools design strategies;
6.     Interaction with digitalisation in the whole agriculture and food chain.

Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi
Dr. Francesco Galioto
Dr. Meri Raggi
Prof. Dr. Giacomo Zanni
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 1600 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
  • Agriculture and food
  • Irrigation
  • Digitalization
  • Decision Support systems
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Policy
  • Economics of information

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Role of ICT in Improving Sequential Decisions for Water Management in Agriculture
Water 2018, 10(9), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091141
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 26 August 2018
PDF Full-text (1542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerous Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) applications have been developed in irrigated agriculture. While there are studies focusing on ICTs impacts at the farm level, no research deals with this issue at the Water Authority (WA) level where ICTs can support strategic decisions [...] Read more.
Numerous Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) applications have been developed in irrigated agriculture. While there are studies focusing on ICTs impacts at the farm level, no research deals with this issue at the Water Authority (WA) level where ICTs can support strategic decisions on land and water allocation. The present study aims to design a theoretical model to estimate economic benefits from the ICT-informed decision process of water management in agriculture. Specifically, the study analyzes the motivations driving a case study WA using ICTs to support strategic management decisions involving risky choices. Results show that the WA under investigation has potentialities to save water and to implement adaptation strategies to climate change. Higher benefits from ICTs are attainable in areas with limited water availability and where the WA can effectively manage land allocation and control water delivery volumes. The study concludes that ICTs might have a disruptive potential in fulfilling WA’s specific information needs, but there is still a need to improve their accuracy due to the risk surrounding the decisions at stake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digitalisation of Water Management in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Potential Economic Viability of Precision Irrigation: A Theoretical Analysis and Pilot Empirical Evaluation
Water 2017, 9(12), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120990
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study explores the value generated by the use of information to rationalize the use of water resources in agriculture. The study introduces the value of information concept in the field of irrigation developing a theoretical assessment framework to evaluate whether the [...] Read more.
The present study explores the value generated by the use of information to rationalize the use of water resources in agriculture. The study introduces the value of information concept in the field of irrigation developing a theoretical assessment framework to evaluate whether the introduction of “Precision Irrigation” (PI) practices can improve expectations on income. This is supported by a Stakeholders consultation and by a numerical example, using secondary data and crop growth models. The study reveals that the value generated with the transition to PI varies with pedo-climate, economic, technological and other conditions, and it depends on the initial status of the farmer’s information environment. These factors affect the prerequisite needed to make viable PI. To foster the adoption of PI, stakeholders envisaged the need to set up free meteorological information and advisory service that supports farmers in using PI, as well as other type of instruments. The paper concludes that the profitability of adoption and the relevant impact on the environment cannot be considered as generally given, but must be evaluated case by case justifying (or not) the activation of specific agricultural policy measures supporting PI practices to target regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digitalisation of Water Management in Agriculture)
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