Irrigation Quantification & Management & its Effect on the Water Cycle

Details of the Working Group

Irrigation Quantification & Management & its Effect on the Water Cycle: Lead by Chiara Corbari

The Working Group aims to advance our knowledge of the irrigation process, its quantification, and on how the management of irrigation water could impact the water and energy cycles, and how we could better implement this process and effects into land surface models. We will look at irrigation at multiple scales, from the field scale (Theme 1, Research Goal 1) to Irrigation district areas and continental areas, by understating the differences and similarities across world regions (Theme 1, Research Goal 2). Agriculture is the largest consumer of water worldwide (70% of freshwater withdrawals), but at the same time there is a significant concern regarding the inefficient utilization of water within the agricultural sector. Climate changes and increasing human pressure are further enhancing the conflictual problems in water use also in countries traditionally rich in water.   Furthermore, reliable and organized data on water withdrawals for agricultural purposes are generally lacking worldwide, thus making irrigation the missing variable to close the water budget over anthropized basins. In the last recent years, there has been an increased interest in irrigation mapping, quantification, and improved management, with the development of several methods based only on satellite remote sensing data of soil moisture, on hydrological modeling alone or through integration of satellite retrievals and models.  However, it remains poorly simulated by models as well as it’s poorly monitored on the ground.  The main questions we aim to address are: how much water is used for irrigation worldwide at multiple scales? How can we improve the modeling of the irrigation process in our hydrological models integrating with remote sensing data? What are the impacts of irrigation on the water and energy cycles, and how will they change over time if better irrigation water management approaches are implemented? 

View the proposal and sign up here and the Presentation will follow shortly.

  back to top