|Author:||Playán, E. ; Mateos, L.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
Population increase and the improvement of living standards brought about by development will result in a sharp increase in food demand during the next decades. Most of this increase will be met by the products of irrigated agriculture. At the same time, the water input per unit irrigated area will have to be reduced in response to water scarcity and environmental concerns. Water productivity is projected to increase through gains in crop yield and reductions in irrigation water. In order to meet these projections, irrigation systems will have to be modernized and optimised. Water productivity can be defined in a number of ways, although it always represents the output of a given activity (in economic terms, if possible) divided by some expression of water input. Five expressions for this indicator were identified, using different approaches to water input. A hydrological analysis of water productivity poses a number of questions on the choice of the water input expression. In fact, when adopting a basin-wide perspective, irrigation return flows often can not be considered as net water losses. A number of irrigation modernization and optimization measures are discussed in the paper. Particular attention was paid to the improvement of irrigation management, which shows much better economic return than the improvement of the irrigation structures. The hydrological effects of these improvements may be deceiving, since they will be accompanied by larger crop evapotranspiration and even increased cropping intensity. As a consequence, less water will be available for alternative uses.
|Pages:||100 - 116|
|Journal:||Agricultural Water Management|
agricultural production, irrigation, irrigation systems,irrigation water, modernization, optimization, water allocation, watermanagement, water supply, water use efficiency, Agricultural Economics(EE110), Natural Resource Economics (EE115) (New March 2000), Soil WaterManagement (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800) (Revised June 2002)[formerly Soil Water Management], Water Resources (PP200)