In an attempt to supply food and fiber to a growing and developing world, agriculture is challenged to increase productivity. Within this context, irrigation yields more than 45 % of the total word agricultural production. Water demand for irrigation has been steadily increased during the last decades but at the same time other water uses have been competing with irrigation for water resources. In addition, projected climate change, through warming temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns is expected to reduce water supplies and increase water demand in many areas of the world. In consequence, soil productivity could be drastically reduced and thus, crop productivity.
These trends are of concern highlighting the role of water and natural resources management and their conservation for the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. How well irrigated agriculture adapts to water scarcity scenarios, particularly by increasing its water use efﬁciency and better estimation of evapotranspiration, will directly affect the future and sustainability of the sector.
On the other hand, the use of treated wastewater, both from industrial and domestic origin, is becoming a source for irrigation in areas afflicted by water scarcity, especially in semi-arid and arid regions, where the future of irrigated agriculture is threatened by existing or expected shortage of fresh water rising the concern of potential hazard either for environment or humans.
This session focuses on bringing a multidisciplinary approach for irrigated agriculture taking into account key issues such as: efficiency on water application on irrigated crops, understand and assess the effect of irrigated agriculture practices on agro-ecosystems, promote better agronomic practices in order to maintain soil biodiversity and to improve or restore natural ecosystems, and foresee
Contributions has been published in Special issues in Water Agricultural Management (Elsevier) (2011), in J. Irrigation and Drainage Eng. (ASCE) (2012) and in Biosystems Engineering (Elsevier) (Issue, December 2014).
Solicited speaker: Dr. Alon Ben-Gal, Soil Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Gilat Research Center, Israel)
Title: Potentials and problems of sustainable irrigation with water high in salts