Expansion of an Existing Water Management Model for the Analysis of Opportunities and Impacts of Agricultural Irrigation under Climate Change Conditions

Jörg Steidl, Johannes Schuler, Undine Schubert, Ottfried Dietrich, Peter Zander
2015 Water  
The impact of climate change and increased irrigation area on future hydrologic and agro-economic conditions was analysed for a representative basin in northeastern Germany using an expanded version of the WBalMO (water balance model) for water management. The model expansion represents various temporally and spatially differentiated irrigation water use processes, including agricultural irrigation, as part of a river basin's water management. We show that climate changes lead to increased
more » ... ation water demands in the future, which will not always be able to be met. The resulting water deficits were shown for different crops depending on their irrigation priority and the water available. With an increased irrigation area, water deficits will rise. This may limit the profitability of agricultural irrigation. The impacts of climate change on low-flow conditions in the river are much higher than those of the increase in irrigated area alone. Therefore, any additional increases of irrigation will require careful monitoring of water availability to avoid critical impacts on river flows. The expanded model was able to replicate the processes of agricultural irrigation water use and can thus be used to test the impact of policies such as the certification of new irrigation permits. OPEN ACCESS Water 2015, 7 6352
doi:10.3390/w7116351 fatcat:62k6p4rferg2zngwch2xpcdgwi