Farmers' Awareness in the Context of Climate Change: An Underutilized Way for Ensuring Sustainable Farmland Adaptation and Surface Water Quality

Ahmed Awad, Wan Luo, Nadhir Al-Ansari, Ahmed Elbeltagi, Mustafa El-Rawy, Hesham N. Farres, Mohamed EL-Sayed Gabr
2021 Sustainability  
Simulations using the Crop Water and Irrigation Requirements model (CROPWAT), show that the projected climatic changes over the period from 2026 to 2050 in the Yanyun irrigation district, Yangzhou, China, will cause the paddy lands there to lose about 12.4% to 37.4%, and 1.6% to 45.6%, of their future seasonal rainwater in runoff under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP45 and RCP85), respectively. This may increase future irrigation requirements (IRs), alongside threatening the
more » ... ty of adjacent water bodies. The CROPWAT simulations were re-run after increasing the Surface Storage Capacity (SSC) of the land by 50% and 100% of its baseline value. The results state that future rainwater runoff will be reduced by up to 76% and 100%, and 53% and 100% when the SSC is increased by 50% and 100%, under RCP45 and RCP85, respectively. This mitigates the future increase in IRs (e.g., under RCP45, up to about 11% and 16% of future IRs will be saved when increasing the SSC by 50% and 100%, respectively), thus saving the adjacent water bodies from the contaminated runoff from these lands. Adjusting the SSC of farmlands is an easy physical approach that can be practiced by farmers, and therefore educating them on how to follow up the rainfall forecast and then adjust the level of their farmlands' boundaries according to these forecasts may help in the self-adaptation of vast areas of farmlands to climate change. These findings will help water users conserve agricultural water resources (by mitigating the future increase in IRs) alongside ensuring better quality for adjacent water bodies (by decreasing future runoff from these farmlands). Increasing farmers' awareness, an underutilized approach, is a potential tool for ensuring improved agricultural circumstances amid projected climate changes and preserving the available water resources.
doi:10.3390/su132111802 doaj:c45afd7951784414a345aafe10d3e8db fatcat:nykoguov5zfgdnnboisaz7nnvi