How Does Agricultural Water Resources Management Adapt to Climate Change?

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 41521

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Water Resources, Irrigation & Env. Geoinformatics Lab, Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Plants and Viticulture, Directorate General of Agricultural Research, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DIMITRA”, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: agricultural water management; climate-water effects; GIS/modelling approaches; hydrological extremes; precision agriculture
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture is the world's largest water consumer, while at the same time water resources worldwide are under pressure from rapidly growing demands as well as climate change. The intensification of water cycles, as an effect of climate change, creates, in many cases, serious damage to traditional cropping systems due to either water shortage leading to drought and desertification phenomena or due to excess water leading to floods and soil losses. In view of the overall consequences of future climate conditions on agriculture, adaptation measures to mitigate water-related effects and increase water use efficiency should be adopted by farmers.

The main aim of this Special Issue is to increase the scientific knowledge of agricultural water resources management and climate change interactions at a local, regional, and global scale. It is also of high importance to investigate the adaptability of agriculture to the changing climate–water environment based on the advantages of soil and crop management, precision agriculture, and novel modelling/geoinformatics approaches.

Based on this, the proposed Special Issue will provide valuable information to the readership of the Water Journal (MDPI). The topics given below will be considered for inclusion.

Dr. Nektarios N. Kourgialas
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • agricultural water use efficiency
  • water supplies and climate change in agriculture
  • geoinformatics & decision support systems
  • irrigation & hydrological modeling
  • hydrological extremes in agriculture
  • modernization of irrigation systems/precision agriculture
  • soil–water management approaches (farm/river basin scale)
  • reuse of treated water for irrigation purposes
  • salt water irrigation management plans
  • optimization approaches in agricultural water management

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 492 KiB  
Editorial
How Does Agricultural Water Resources Management Adapt to Climate Change? A Summary Approach
by Nektarios N. Kourgialas
Water 2023, 15(22), 3991; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223991 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
This editorial paper takes the form of a concise report and delves into a critical and intricate issue essential for the sustainability of agriculture. It centers on the intricate relationship between agri-cultural water resource management and agronomical practices, as well as their ability [...] Read more.
This editorial paper takes the form of a concise report and delves into a critical and intricate issue essential for the sustainability of agriculture. It centers on the intricate relationship between agri-cultural water resource management and agronomical practices, as well as their ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change while ensuring both the quantity and quality of crop yields. Specifically, this paper serves as a synopsis of how the far-reaching consequences of climate change for water resources impact agricultural production. It also highlights primary adaptation strategies for managing agricultural water resources, as drawn from the existing literature. Such strategies are designed to counteract the potentially adverse impacts of climate change on the rural sector. Fur-thermore, this brief report offers a valuable overview of the 17 selected papers featured in this Special Issue (SI) on Water, published by MDPI. These papers serve as exemplars of cutting-edge approaches to adaptability in water resource management and resilient crop production systems, as these fields attempt to thrive in an ever-changing environmental landscape. Full article
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Research

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13 pages, 2666 KiB  
Article
Drought Priming and Subsequent Irrigation Water Regimes Enhanced Grain Yield and Water Productivity of Wheat Crop
by Inayatullah Katohar, Rajesh Kumar Soothar, Farman Ali Chandio, Mashooque Ali Talpur, Shakeel Ahmed Soomro, Ashutus Singha, Li Bin and Muhammad Uris Mirjat
Water 2023, 15(20), 3704; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15203704 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 838
Abstract
The most important factor impacting wheat production is water stress that occurs during the reproductive growth stage. Therefore, the plant responses and water productivity as affected by drought priming were investigated during Rabi seasons 2021 and 2022. The field trials were conducted in [...] Read more.
The most important factor impacting wheat production is water stress that occurs during the reproductive growth stage. Therefore, the plant responses and water productivity as affected by drought priming were investigated during Rabi seasons 2021 and 2022. The field trials were conducted in the research field of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam. The Hamal-BNS wheat variety was subjected to differing irrigation water regime levels (40%, 50% and 60% of soil water holding capacity, SWHC) after being subjected to drought priming, irrigation water recovery (water closure period) and drought priming. There were six treatments: (1) DPP-40 (drought priming plants at 40% of SWHC), (2) DPP-50, (3) DPP-60, (4) CTP-40 (controlled treated plants at 40% of SWHC), (5) CTP-50 and (6) CTP-60. During the experiment period, soil moisture content was significantly affected by the different treatments at various growth stages of wheat. The results indicated that winter wheat pre-exposed to drought priming attained a stress imprint that improved the subsequent deficit water levels which occurred during the later plant growth stage as demonstrated by the progress of test weight, grain yield, plant level water use efficiency and irrigation water use efficiency as well as relative yield compared to CTP-50 (control treatment). Under the irrigation water regime levels during the post-anthesis period, primed wheat plants sustained grain yield and higher relative yield than wheat plants without priming due to the better irrigation water regime for drought-primed wheat plants. Similarly, primed wheat plants consumed 18.3% less irrigation water as compared to non-primed plants, which significantly increased plant level WUE and irrigation WUE and decreased dry biomass and root development of drought-primed wheat plants. Therefore, to conserve fresh water for other field crops and increase water productivity in the Sindh province, it is recommended that drought priming is used during the early growth period of wheat plants as a successful irrigation method. Full article
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37 pages, 26356 KiB  
Article
Management Zones Delineation, Correct and Incorrect Application Analysis in a Coriander Field Using Precision Agriculture, Soil Chemical, Granular and Hydraulic Analyses, Fuzzy k-Means Zoning, Factor Analysis and Geostatistics
by Agathos Filintas, Nikolaos Gougoulias, Nektarios Kourgialas and Eleni Hatzichristou
Water 2023, 15(18), 3278; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15183278 - 16 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
The objective of our investigation was to study the various effects of correct and incorrect application of fuzziness exponent, initial parameterization and fuzzy classification algorithms modeling on homogeneous management zones (MZs) delineation of a Coriandrum sativum L. field by using precision agriculture, soil [...] Read more.
The objective of our investigation was to study the various effects of correct and incorrect application of fuzziness exponent, initial parameterization and fuzzy classification algorithms modeling on homogeneous management zones (MZs) delineation of a Coriandrum sativum L. field by using precision agriculture, soil chemical, granular and hydraulic analyses, fuzzy k-means zoning algorithms with statistical measures like the introduced Percentage of Management Zones Spatial Agreement (PoMZSA) (%), factor and principal components analysis (PCA) and geostatistical nutrients GIS mapping. Results of the exploratory fuzzy analysis showed how different fuzziness exponents applied to different soil parameter groups can reveal better insights for determining whether a fuzzy classification is a correct or incorrect application for delineating fuzzy MZs. In all cases, the best results were achieved by using the optimal fuzziness exponent with the full number of parameters of each soil chemical, granular and hydraulic parameter group or the maximum extracted PCAs. In each case study where the factor analysis and PCA showed optimal MZs > 2, the results of the fuzzy PoMZSA clustering metric revealed low, medium and medium to high spatial agreement, which presented a statistically significant difference between the soil parameter datasets when an arbitrary or commonly used fuzziness exponent was used (e.g., φ = 1.30 or φ = 1.50). Soil sampling and laboratory analysis are tools of major significance for performing exploratory fuzzy analysis, and in addition, the FkM Xie and Benny’s index and the introduced fuzzy PoMZSA clustering metric are valuable tools for correctly delineating management zones. Full article
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18 pages, 13238 KiB  
Article
Developing an Open-Source IoT Platform for Optimal Irrigation Scheduling and Decision-Making: Implementation at Olive Grove Parcels
by Konstantinos Tzerakis, Georgios Psarras and Nektarios N. Kourgialas
Water 2023, 15(9), 1739; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091739 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
Climate change has reduced the availability of good quality water for agriculture, while favoring the proliferation of harmful insects, especially in Mediterranean areas. Deploying IoT-based systems can help optimize water-use efficiency in agriculture and address problems caused by extreme weather events. This work [...] Read more.
Climate change has reduced the availability of good quality water for agriculture, while favoring the proliferation of harmful insects, especially in Mediterranean areas. Deploying IoT-based systems can help optimize water-use efficiency in agriculture and address problems caused by extreme weather events. This work presents an IoT-based monitoring system for obtaining soil moisture, soil electrical conductivity, soil temperature and meteorological data useful in irrigation management and pest control. The proposed system was implemented and evaluated for olive parcels located both at coastal and inland areas of the eastern part of Crete; these areas face severe issues with water availability and saltwater intrusion (coastal region). The system includes the monitoring of soil moisture and atmospheric sensors, with the aim of providing information to farmers for decision-making and at the future implementation of an automated irrigation system, optimizing the use of water resources. Data acquisition was performed through smart sensors connected to a microcontroller. Data were received at a portal and made available on the cloud, being monitored in real-time through an open-source IoT platform. An e-mail alert was sent to the farmers when soil moisture was lower than a threshold value specific to the soil type or when climatic conditions favored the development of the olive fruit fly. One of the main advantages of the proposed decision-making system is a low-cost IoT solution, as it is based on open-source software and the hardware on edge devices consists of widespread economic modules. The reliability of the IoT-based monitoring system has been tested and could be used as a support service tool offering an efficient irrigation and pest control service. Full article
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28 pages, 9437 KiB  
Article
Effects of Climate Change on Streamflow in the Godavari Basin Simulated Using a Conceptual Model including CMIP6 Dataset
by Nagireddy Masthan Reddy, Subbarayan Saravanan, Hussein Almohamad, Ahmed Abdullah Al Dughairi and Hazem Ghassan Abdo
Water 2023, 15(9), 1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091701 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Hydrological reaction to climate change anticipates water cycle alterations. To ensure long-term water availability and accessibility, it is essential to develop sustainable water management strategies and better hydrological models that can simulate peak flow. These efforts will aid in water resource planning, management, [...] Read more.
Hydrological reaction to climate change anticipates water cycle alterations. To ensure long-term water availability and accessibility, it is essential to develop sustainable water management strategies and better hydrological models that can simulate peak flow. These efforts will aid in water resource planning, management, and climate change mitigation. This study develops and compares Sacramento, Australian Water Balance Model (AWBM), TANK, and SIMHYD conceptual models to simulate daily streamflow at Rajegaon station of the Pranhita subbasin in the Godavari basin of India. The study uses daily Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) gridded rainfall and temperature datasets. For 1987–2019, 70% of the models were calibrated and 30% validated. Pearson correlation (CC), Nash Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), Root mean square error (RMSE), and coefficient of determination (CD) between the observed and simulated streamflow to evaluate model efficacy. The best conceptual (Sacramento) model selected to forecast future streamflow for the SSP126, SSP245, SSP370, and SSP585 scenarios for the near (2021–2040), middle (2041–2070), and far future (2071–2100) using EC-Earth3 data was resampled and bias-corrected using distribution mapping. In the far future, the SSP585 scenario had the most significant relative rainfall change (55.02%) and absolute rise in the annual mean temperature (3.29 °C). In the middle and far future, the 95th percentile of monthly streamflow in the wettest July is anticipated to rise 40.09% to 127.06% and 73.90% to 215.13%. SSP370 and SSP585 scenarios predicted the largest streamflow increases in all three time periods. In the near, middle, and far future, the SSP585 scenario projects yearly relative streamflow changes of 72.49%, 93.80%, and 150.76%. Overall, the findings emphasize the importance of considering the potential impacts of future scenarios on water resources to develop effective and sustainable water management practices. Full article
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22 pages, 1775 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Impact on Groundwater-Based Livelihood in Soan River Basin of Pakistan (South Asia) Based on the Perception of Local Farmers
by Bashir Ahmad, Muhammad Umer Nadeem, Tie Liu, Muhammad Asif, Filza Fatima Rizvi, Ali Kamran, Zeeshan Tahir Virk, Muhammad Khalid Jamil, Naveed Mustafa, Salar Saeed and Akhtar Abbas
Water 2023, 15(7), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071287 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
Based on the perceptions of the local farmers, this study aims to assess the effects of socioeconomic factors and climatic change on the groundwater livelihood system, with a particular focus on in situ Persian wheels/dug wells. Farmers’ perceptions of climate change and how [...] Read more.
Based on the perceptions of the local farmers, this study aims to assess the effects of socioeconomic factors and climatic change on the groundwater livelihood system, with a particular focus on in situ Persian wheels/dug wells. Farmers’ perceptions of climate change and how it is affecting their way of life in the Soan River Basin have also been evaluated to determine the most appropriate adaptive interventions. Information and literature about dug wells was unavailable, which stressed the need to carry out this survey. A structured close-ended questionnaire was designed and administered with as much quantitative data as possible. Random sampling opted for a 5 km buffer zone across the Soan River and its tributaries. Union councils having more than 50% of their area lying in the buffer zone were surveyed, and data was collected. Fifty UCs fell within this criterion, and six dug wells from each Union Council were surveyed. The results of our survey collecting local farmer’s perceptions determined that about 70% of respondents agreed about climate change in the Soan Basin of Pakistan, and 62% of farmers reported that climate change severely impacted their livelihood by affecting agricultural productivity and water availability. Ninety-two percent reported summer becoming hot, 72% highlighted that winters are becoming less cold, and 96% reported that average annual rainfall has decreased compared to 10 years before. About 72% of respondents indicated that available water in their dug wells had decreased, and 80% of respondents explained that their crop yield had decreased compared to 10 years before. Sixty percent preferred drip and 35% sprinkler irrigation as efficient water management practices to cope with water shortages. Ninety-five percent of farmers were ready to use solar pumps for irrigation to tame high pumping costs. The study recommends integrating solar pumping with drip and sprinkler irrigation systems to enhance farmers’ cropped area and productivity. These vulnerable farmers can enhance their resilience and profitability by adopting high-value agriculture (tunnel farming, off-season vegetables, etc.) instead of conventional crops. Full article
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16 pages, 1278 KiB  
Article
Integrated Effects of Water Stress and Plastic Film Mulch on Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Grain Maize Crop under Conventional and Alternate Furrow Irrigation Method
by Xiufang Yang, Rajesh Kumar Soothar, Aftab Ahmed Rahu, Yaosheng Wang, Bin Li, Muhammad Uris Mirjat, Shoukat Ali Soomro, Sher Ali Shaikh and Farman Ali Chandio
Water 2023, 15(5), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050924 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
Water scarcity in arid regions increases the need for technologies to improve water productivity. The integrated effects of plastic film mulching and water stress on grain maize under conventional and alternate furrow irrigation methods are still poorly understood in Sindh’s climate. Therefore, field [...] Read more.
Water scarcity in arid regions increases the need for technologies to improve water productivity. The integrated effects of plastic film mulching and water stress on grain maize under conventional and alternate furrow irrigation methods are still poorly understood in Sindh’s climate. Therefore, field trials were conducted at Malir farm, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan, during the cropping season 2020–2021 to investigate whether mulching is practicable for grain maize production under the different furrow irrigation methods. The experiments involved two types of furrow irrigation, two water stress levels (sufficient and severe water stress), and plastic film mulching. Treatments were laid out in a randomized block design and three replications. The conventional and alternate furrow irrigation method was assigned to the main plot, while the water stress and plastic film mulching were in sub-plots. The results showed that different furrow irrigation methods significantly affected plant growth, grain yield parameters, and crop harvest index. Significant highest plant growth and grain yield of maize crop were observed with the conventional furrow irrigation (CFI) compared with the alternate furrow irrigation (AFI) method. However, grain yield and irrigation water productivity (IWP) were increased significantly by the plastic film mulching. The results revealed that sufficient water stress was more effective in sustaining grain yield and IWP than crop irrigating at several water stresses. The interaction effect of furrow irrigation and water stress, furrow irrigation, and plastic film mulching significantly impacted the IWP of grain maize. The IWP of the maize crop was significantly higher under the AFI than the CFI method if it was mulched with plastic film and irrigated at sufficient water stress level. Full article
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15 pages, 4445 KiB  
Article
Hydrological Forecasting under Climate Variability Using Modeling and Earth Observations in the Naryn River Basin, Kyrgyzstan
by Merim Pamirbek kyzy, Xi Chen, Tie Liu, Eldiiar Duulatov, Akmal Gafurov, Elvira Omorova and Abror Gafurov
Water 2022, 14(17), 2733; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172733 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
The availability of water resources in Central Asia depends greatly on snow accumulation in the mountains of Tien-Shan and Pamir. It is important to precisely forecast water availability as it is shared by several countries and has a transboundary context. The impact of [...] Read more.
The availability of water resources in Central Asia depends greatly on snow accumulation in the mountains of Tien-Shan and Pamir. It is important to precisely forecast water availability as it is shared by several countries and has a transboundary context. The impact of climate change in this region requires improving the quality of hydrological forecasts in the Naryn river basin. This is especially true for the growing season due to the unpredictable climate behavior. A real-time monitoring and forecasting system based on hydrological watershed models is widely used for forecast monitoring. The study’s main objective is to simulate hydrological forecasts for three different hydrological stations (Uch-Terek, Naryn, and Big-Naryn) located in the Naryn river basin, the main water formation area of the Syrdarya River. We used the MODSNOW model to generate statistical forecast models. The model simulates the hydrological cycle using standard meteorological data, discharge data, and remote sensing data based on the MODIS snow cover area. As for the forecast at the monthly scale, the model considers the snow cover conditions at separate elevation zones. The operation of a watershed model includes the effects of climate change on river dynamics, especially snowfall and its melting processes in different altitude zones of the Naryn river basin. The linear regression models were produced for monthly and yearly hydrological forecasts. The linear regression shows R2 values of 0.81, 0.75, and 0.77 (Uch-Terek, Naryn, and Big-Naryn, respectively). The correlation between discharge and snow cover at various elevation zones was used to examine the relationship between snow cover and the elevation of the study. The best correlation was in May, June, and July for the elevation ranging from 1000–1500 m in station Uch-Terek, and 1500–3500 m in stations Naryn and Big-Naryn. The best correlation was in June: 0.87; 0.76; 0.84, and May for the elevation ranging from 1000–3500 m in station Uch-Terek, and 2000–3000 m in stations Naryn and Big-Naryn. Hydrological forecast modeling in this study aims to provide helpful information to improve our under-standing that the snow cover is the central aspect of water accumulation. Full article
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17 pages, 4933 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Climate Change on the Irrigation Water Demand, Grain Yield, and Biomass Yield of Wheat Crop in Nepal
by Santosh Kaini, Matthew Tom Harrison, Ted Gardner, Santosh Nepal and Ashok K. Sharma
Water 2022, 14(17), 2728; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172728 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
The Nepalese Sunsari Morang Irrigation district is the lifeblood of millions of people in the Koshi River basin. Despite its fundamental importance to food security, little is known about the impacts of climate change on future irrigation demand and grain yields in this [...] Read more.
The Nepalese Sunsari Morang Irrigation district is the lifeblood of millions of people in the Koshi River basin. Despite its fundamental importance to food security, little is known about the impacts of climate change on future irrigation demand and grain yields in this region. Here, we examined the impacts of climate change on the irrigation demand and grain yield of wheat crop. Climate change was simulated using Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) of 4.5 and 8.5 for three time horizons (2016–2045, 2036–2065, and 2071–2100) in the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM). For the field data’s measured period (2018–2020), we showed that farmers applied only 25% of the irrigation water required to achieve the maximum potential grain yield. Actual yields were less than 50% of the potential yields. Projected irrigation water demand is likely to increase for RCP4.5 (3%) but likely to decrease under RCP8.5 (8%) due to the truncated crop duration and lower maturity biomass by the end of the 21st century. However, simulated yields declined by 20%, suggesting that even irrigation will not be enough to mitigate the severe and detrimental effects of climate change on crop production. While our results herald positive implications for irrigation demand in the region, the implications for regional food security may be dire. Full article
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34 pages, 4495 KiB  
Article
A Comparison between Variable Deficit Irrigation and Farmers’ Irrigation Practices under Three Fertilization Levels in Cotton Yield (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Using Precision Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Soil Analyses, and Crop Growth Modeling
by Agathos Filintas, Aikaterini Nteskou, Nektarios Kourgialas, Nikolaos Gougoulias and Eleni Hatzichristou
Water 2022, 14(17), 2654; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172654 - 28 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
The major global challenge for the coming decades will be increasing crop production with less water consumption. Precision agriculture (PA) and variable deficit irrigation (VDI) are management strategies that help farmers to improve crop production, fertilizer’s efficiency, and water use efficiency (WUE). The [...] Read more.
The major global challenge for the coming decades will be increasing crop production with less water consumption. Precision agriculture (PA) and variable deficit irrigation (VDI) are management strategies that help farmers to improve crop production, fertilizer’s efficiency, and water use efficiency (WUE). The effects of irrigation (IR1 = variable deficit irrigation; IR2 = farmers’ irrigation common practices) under three fertilization (Ft1, Ft2, Ft3) treatments were studied on a cotton yield, on various indicators for more efficient water and fertilizer use, and on plant growth characteristics by applying a number of new agrotechnologies (such as TDR sensors; soil moisture (SM); PA; remote-sensing NDVI (Sentinel-2 satellite sensors); soil hydraulic analyses; geostatistical models; and SM root-zone modelling 2D GIS mapping). The reference evapotranspiration was computed based on the F.A.O. Penman–Monteith method. The crop (ETc) and actual (ETa) evapotranspiration were computed using crop coefficients obtained from the remote-sensing NDVI vegetation index (R2 = 0.9327). A daily soil–water–crop–atmosphere (SWCA) balance model and a depletion model were developed using sensor data (climatic parameters’ sensors, as well as soil and satellite sensors) measurements. The two-way ANOVA statistical analysis results revealed that irrigation (IR1 = best) and fertilization treatments (Ft2 = best) significantly affected the cotton yield, the plant height, the plant stem, the boll weight, the above-ground dry matter, nitrogen and fertilizer efficiency, and WUE. VDI, if applied wisely during critical growth stages, could result in a substantial improvement in the yield (up to +28.664%) and water savings (up to 24.941%), thus raising water productivity (+35.715% up to 42.659%), WUE (from farmers’ 0.421–0.496 kg·m−3 up to a VDI of 0.601–0.685 kg·m−3), nitrogen efficiency (+16.888% up to +22.859%), and N-P-K fertilizer productivity (from farmers’ 16.754–23.769 up to a VDI of 20.583–27.957). Full article
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26 pages, 16846 KiB  
Article
Estimating Soil Clay Content Using an Agrogeophysical and Agrogeological Approach: A Case Study in Chania Plain, Greece
by George Kritikakis, Eleni Kokinou, Nikolaos Economou, Nikolaos Andronikidis, John Brintakis, Ioannis N. Daliakopoulos, Nektarios Kourgialas, Aikaterini Pavlaki, George Fasarakis, Nikolaos Markakis, Pantelis Soupios, Thrassyvoulos Manios and Antonios Vafidis
Water 2022, 14(17), 2625; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172625 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Thorough knowledge of soil lithology and its properties are of considerable importance to agriculture. These parameters have a direct impact on water permeability and the content of the water in soil, which represent significant factors in crop yield, decisively determining the design of [...] Read more.
Thorough knowledge of soil lithology and its properties are of considerable importance to agriculture. These parameters have a direct impact on water permeability and the content of the water in soil, which represent significant factors in crop yield, decisively determining the design of irrigation systems and farming processes. In the framework of this study, and considering the inevitable impacts of climate change, the rational management of water resources and the optimization of irrigation through innovative technologies become of significant importance. Thus, we propose an interdisciplinary approach based on robust techniques from the allied fields of earth (geological mapping, geophysical methods) and soil sciences (sampling, mechanical analysis) assisted by statistics and GIS techniques. Clay or the sum of clay and silt soil content is successfully determined from the normalized chargeability using induced polarization and electrical resistivity techniques. Finally, we distinguished three classes (S1, S2 and S3) considering the clay or the sum of clay and silt soil content in the study area (a) based on the dry period geophysical data and (b) using as classification criterion the spatial distribution of the geological formations. Full article
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18 pages, 56428 KiB  
Article
Agricultural Water Security under Climate Change in the Iberian Peninsula
by André Fonseca, Cristina Andrade and João A. Santos
Water 2022, 14(5), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050768 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2722
Abstract
As civilization advances, water resources are increasingly being consumed for domestic, industrial, and agricultural purposes, reducing the ability to find an equilibrium of water security and growing demands. This study presents an analysis and discussion of climate change impacts on water and agricultural [...] Read more.
As civilization advances, water resources are increasingly being consumed for domestic, industrial, and agricultural purposes, reducing the ability to find an equilibrium of water security and growing demands. This study presents an analysis and discussion of climate change impacts on water and agricultural sectors in the Iberian Peninsula (IP) and their implications for potential future water scarcity regarding food security. The analysis reveals an overall increase in annual mean temperatures, ranging from 1.4 to 5.5 °C, a decrease in precipitation between 0.10 and 0.55 mm × day−1, strengthening of aridity across the whole IP, as well as a reduction in water content in the soil, for the periods 2041–2060 and 2081–2100, respectively. These effects are generally more noticeable at lower latitudes for temperature and higher latitudes for precipitation. It also shows that the water demand is increasing in the IP, due to the increase in agricultural areas or intensive farming since water and food security are intricately connected. An increase of approximately 34% in the agricultural area was observed from 1990 to 2020. Furthermore, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values increased during this period, hinting at the increased need for water in the IP. Consequently, actions are needed to enhance food security by adopting strategies to preserve and conserve water, such as improved irrigation systems, the creation of retention basins, or the selection of new crops or varieties, more suitable to warm and dry climates, thus enhancing climate resilience in the IP. Full article
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13 pages, 4185 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Characteristics of Drought Conditions during the Growth of Winter Wheat Based on an Improved SWAT Model
by Jianqin Ma, Bifeng Cui, Lei Liu, Xiuping Hao, Feng Liang, Zhongfeng Jiang and Jiangshan Yang
Water 2022, 14(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040566 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
This study aimed at investigating the applicability of a SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model in understanding the effects of drought on winter wheat. This study is based on the water requirement of the crop and addresses the absence of a SWAT [...] Read more.
This study aimed at investigating the applicability of a SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model in understanding the effects of drought on winter wheat. This study is based on the water requirement of the crop and addresses the absence of a SWAT model with real-time irrigation simulation. A real-time irrigation module was developed for the downstream irrigation area of the Yellow River to estimate the real-time irrigation of crops. By further simulating the dynamic evolution process of soil moisture content, a dynamic drought evaluation model of winter wheat was established, and the relative soil moisture was set as the evaluation index to assess and analyze the dynamic variation of drought evolution during the growth of winter wheat. The results showed that the improved SWAT model has strong applicability. During the growth of winter wheat, the variation trend of droughts is consistent with that of natural precipitation. For winter wheat, drought is quite normal during all growth stages, and the average frequency is 93.5%, 89.1%, 84.8%, 89.1% and 95.7%. Severe drought and extra-severe drought usually occur during the sowing–tillering stage and the tillering–greening stage, and the frequency of occurrence is 30.4% and 19.6%, respectively. This paper provides a novel approach for the study of agricultural drought in the downstream irrigation area of the Yellow River. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

23 pages, 1238 KiB  
Review
A Review of HYDRUS 2D/3D Applications for Simulations of Water Dynamics, Root Uptake and Solute Transport in Tree Crops under Drip Irrigation
by Giasemi Morianou, Nektarios N. Kourgialas and George P. Karatzas
Water 2023, 15(4), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040741 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3351
Abstract
Orchards with tree crops are of critical importance to the global economy and to the environment due to their ability to be productive for many years without the need for replanting. They are also better adapted to extreme climatic conditions compared to other [...] Read more.
Orchards with tree crops are of critical importance to the global economy and to the environment due to their ability to be productive for many years without the need for replanting. They are also better adapted to extreme climatic conditions compared to other crops. However, new challenges are emerging as climate change threatens both tree production and water supply. Drip irrigation (surface and subsurface) is an irrigation method that has the potential to save water and nutrients by placing water directly into the root zone and minimizing evaporation. Many irrigation designs and strategies have been tested to best perform drip irrigation for any given soil, crop and/or climate conditions. The researchers’ need to find the optimal combination of irrigation management and design in the most economical and effortless way led to the use of comprehensive numerical models such as HYDRUS 2D/3D. HYDRUS 2D/3D is a widely used mathematical model for studying vadose zone flow and transport processes. A review of HYDRUS 2D/3D applications for simulations of water dynamics, root uptake and solute transport under drip irrigation in the four most common categories of tree crops (citrus, olive, avocado and deciduous fruit/nuts) is presented in this study. The review promotes a better understanding of the effect of different drip irrigation designs and treatments, as well as the reliability provided by HYDRUS 2D/3D in the evaluation of the above. This manuscript also indicates gaps and future challenges regarding the use of the model in simulations of drip irrigation in tree crops. Full article
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22 pages, 422 KiB  
Review
Remote Sensing, Geophysics, and Modeling to Support Precision Agriculture—Part 1: Soil Applications
by Arya Pradipta, Pantelis Soupios, Nektarios Kourgialas, Maria Doula, Zoi Dokou, Mohammad Makkawi, Mohammed Alfarhan, Bassam Tawabini, Panagiotis Kirmizakis and Mohamed Yassin
Water 2022, 14(7), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071158 - 04 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3389
Abstract
Sustainable agriculture management typically requires detailed characterization of physical, chemical, and biological aspects of soil properties. These properties are essential for agriculture and should be determined before any decision for crop type selection and cultivation practices. Moreover, the implementation of soil characterization at [...] Read more.
Sustainable agriculture management typically requires detailed characterization of physical, chemical, and biological aspects of soil properties. These properties are essential for agriculture and should be determined before any decision for crop type selection and cultivation practices. Moreover, the implementation of soil characterization at the beginning could avoid unsustainable soil management that might lead to gradual soil degradation. This is the only way to develop appropriate agricultural practices that will ensure the necessary soil treatment in an accurate and targeted way. Remote sensing and geophysical surveys have great opportunities to characterize agronomic soil attributes non-invasively and efficiently from point to field scale. Remote sensing can provide information about the soil surface (or even a few centimeters below), while near-surface geophysics can characterize the subsoil. Results from the methods mentioned above can be used as an input model for soil and/or soil/water interaction modeling. The soil modeling can offer a better explanation of complex physicochemical processes in the vadose zone. Considering their potential to support sustainable agriculture in the future, this paper aims to explore different methods and approaches, such as the applications of remote sensing, geophysics, and modeling in soil studies. Full article
25 pages, 649 KiB  
Review
Remote Sensing, Geophysics, and Modeling to Support Precision Agriculture—Part 2: Irrigation Management
by Arya Pradipta, Pantelis Soupios, Nektarios Kourgialas, Maria Doula, Zoi Dokou, Mohammad Makkawi, Mohammed Alfarhan, Bassam Tawabini, Panagiotis Kirmizakis and Mohamed Yassin
Water 2022, 14(7), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071157 - 04 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3858
Abstract
Food and water security are considered the most critical issues globally due to the projected population growth placing pressure on agricultural systems. Because agricultural activity is known to be the largest consumer of freshwater, the unsustainable irrigation water use required by crops to [...] Read more.
Food and water security are considered the most critical issues globally due to the projected population growth placing pressure on agricultural systems. Because agricultural activity is known to be the largest consumer of freshwater, the unsustainable irrigation water use required by crops to grow might lead to rapid freshwater depletion. Precision agriculture has emerged as a feasible concept to maintain farm productivity while facing future problems such as climate change, freshwater depletion, and environmental degradation. Agriculture is regarded as a complex system due to the variability of soil, crops, topography, and climate, and its interconnection with water availability and scarcity. Therefore, understanding these variables’ spatial and temporal behavior is essential in order to support precision agriculture by implementing optimum irrigation water use. Nowadays, numerous cost- and time-effective methods have been highlighted and implemented in order to optimize on-farm productivity without threatening the quantity and quality of the environmental resources. Remote sensing can provide lateral distribution information for areas of interest from the regional scale to the farm scale, while geophysics can investigate non-invasively the sub-surface soil (vertically and laterally), mapping large spatial and temporal domains. Likewise, agro-hydrological modelling can overcome the insufficient on-farm physicochemical dataset which is spatially and temporally required for precision agriculture in the context of irrigation water scheduling. Full article
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17 pages, 4469 KiB  
Brief Report
Investigation of Rain-Fed Horticulture Productivity in the Namangan Region, Uzbekistan
by Imiya M. Chathuranika, Mirzohid R. Koriyev, Eranga M. Wimalasiri, Kamolov B. Asamovich, Nitin Muttil and Upaka Rathnayake
Water 2023, 15(13), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132399 - 28 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
With the limited availability of water, rain-fed horticulture is important anywhere in the world, especially in countries with arid climates. Therefore, experimental analysis is necessary to see the impact of rain-fed horticulture. Thus, it can be popularized among agricultural people if the strategies [...] Read more.
With the limited availability of water, rain-fed horticulture is important anywhere in the world, especially in countries with arid climates. Therefore, experimental analysis is necessary to see the impact of rain-fed horticulture. Thus, it can be popularized among agricultural people if the strategies achieve better outcomes. This study aims to create a garden without irrigation in the lower regions of the Namangan hills in Uzbekistan using agrotechnical measures based on collecting natural moisture and its long-term storage due to the natural growth of some wild fruits. Soil moisture is the most important factor for plant development in arid and warm regions. The experiments were analyzed from 2013 to 2019 and promising results were found. The plant growth rate after a few years was comparable with that of irrigated agricultural lands. In addition, the yield in non-irrigated gardens was comparable with that of irrigated farms. However, a slight reduction in fruit sizes was observed (10–20%). Furthermore, the terracing and plastic and organic mulching method’s efficiency is higher than terracing and organic mulching due to maintaining long-term soil moisture that can be absorbed by the plants (For May 2019, 12.7%, 7.7%, and 6.1% soil moisture levels were found in plastic and organic mulching, organic mulching, and unmulched areas). Overcoming the challenges in rain-fed horticulture experiments requires a holistic approach that integrates scientific knowledge, technological advancements, and sustainable farming practices. Collaboration between researchers, farmers, and policymakers is crucial to develop and disseminate effective strategies that address these challenges and promote resilient rain-fed horticulture systems. Therefore, this study shows the practical possibility of rain-fed horticulture in the northeastern hills in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan. Furthermore, this study provides possible agrotechnologies to practice horticulture without irrigation, which is beneficial for planners, engineers, farm managers, and agribusiness controllers. Full article
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9 pages, 24991 KiB  
Brief Report
Analysis of the Dynamics and Characteristics of Rice Stem Tillers via Water Level Management
by Xiujun Hu, Yueyang Yu, Yuedong Xia, Feng Xie and Menghua Xiao
Water 2023, 15(6), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061034 - 09 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Based on theoretical analysis and numerical calculations, this study systematically investigated the changes in rice tillering dynamics and the simulation of stem tiller growth during the tillering stage using the farm water level as a regulation index for rice irrigation and drainage. Based [...] Read more.
Based on theoretical analysis and numerical calculations, this study systematically investigated the changes in rice tillering dynamics and the simulation of stem tiller growth during the tillering stage using the farm water level as a regulation index for rice irrigation and drainage. Based on pit testing, the results of this study show that both flooding and drought in the tillering stage suppress the tiller output of rice and have a certain compensating effect following rehydration. Heavy drought during the tillering period reduced the effective tiller rate, while flooding and light drought had little effect on the effective tiller rate. Flooding and maintaining a high infiltration rate also increased the effective tiller rate. The primary kinetic model of tiller elongation (DMOR) was a good fit for the tiller elongation process (coefficients of determination of 0.99 or higher). In addition, the growth and extinction rates of the stem tiller extinction curves were fitted. The maximum growth rate of the stem tiller growth segment was ranked as CK > L1 > H1 > L2 > H2, and the maximum extinction rate of the stem tiller extinction segment was ranked as CK > H2 > H1 > L2 > L1, indicating that both flooding and drought during the tillering stage could reduce the growth and extinction rates of the stem tiller. This shows that both flooding and drought can reduce the growth and extinction rates of tillers. Full article
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