SSS10.2 Media
Irrigation for a resilient and sustainable food-energy-water nexus: science, technology and innovation
Co-organized as HS11.7
Convener: Leonor Rodriguez-Sinobas | Co-conveners: Daniele Masseroni, María Fátima Moreno Pérez, Giuseppe Provenzano, Alejandro Pérez-Pastor
| Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–12:30
Room -2.20
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X1

A growing population is exerting an unprecedented pressure on water and energy resources, maximizing food production and reducing the impact on ecosystem services. Sociotechnical and socioecological variables are not just terms of our current scientific and technologic dictionary but key variables to increase agricultural productivity and fulfil food and fiber supplies in a dissimilar world experiencing climate, land use, market and social changes. With more than 45 % of the world’s agricultural production, irrigation has integrated scientific advancements in soil-plant-water relationships, engineering technologies of variable rate and sub-drip irrigation and innovation that have impacted farmers across the world. Furthermore, in the past decade, we have experienced the massification of proximal and remote sensing, modeling and field data, as well as the “explosion” of robotics, artificial intelligence and information technologies, genetics and high throughput phenotyping --all built upon previous experiences are creating the conditions necessary to innovate in irrigation and contribute to tackle local-to-global challenges.
The proposed session sets the scene for a sustainable irrigation in a changing world. This scenario is based on the integration of applied and basic research, which enables irrigation’s science, engineering and design revolutionize “again” food production with a clearer purpose of preserving water, energy and ecosystem services:
On the one hand, water demands for irrigation have steadily increased since the last decades of the twentieth century, and has created conflicts among water users over a finite water resource jeopardizing food and energy security. Additionally, projected climate change foresees warmer temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns which all together will modify stationary assumptions used to manage water supply, increasing water demands, shifting cropping regimes and triggering volatile markets and socioeconomic responses across the world. Consequently, soil and water productivity could be drastically reduced and thus, food, energy, and ecosystem services too.
On the other hand, technologic developments and innovation on monitoring and predicting future food, water, energy and ecosystems states highlight the role irrigation may play in creating a resilient agriculture to a volatile and complex environment. The following questions need to be addressed: (1) How water and natural resources will be managed for the sustainability of irrigated agriculture? (2) How well irrigated agriculture will adapt to water scarcity scenarios? (3) How information technologies and innovation are contributing to integrate complex systems (i.e. FEWES), maximize food production, optimize water and energy consumption and preserve the ecosystem services? A key element in answering such questions has been and will be the improvement of water, energy and fertilizer use efficiency. The increase of water, energy and fertilizer use efficiency, the accurate estimation in evapotranspiration, and the maintenance of the agroecosystem productivity and ecosystem services will be key topics in the present session. Likewise, the use of other water resources such as treated wastewater, both from industrial and domestic origin, is becoming a source for irrigation in semi-arid and arid regions where the future of irrigated agriculture is threatened by existing or expected water shortages of fresh water and rising concerns of potential water quality hazards to the environment and/or humans.
Within the above framework, this session offers an opportunity to present studies or professional works regarding irrigated agriculture with disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches including (but not exclusively) the following key topics:
• Efficiency and productivity of water irrigation and fertigation
• Scale-dependent and driven resilience in irrigated working landscapes
• Resilience in coupled natural and human systems where ground and surface water and land are limiting resources for irrigation
• Traditional, novel, and transitional technologies for irrigation management and improvement
• Pros and cons of marginal water use in irrigated agriculture
• Better agronomic and irrigation management practices for soil biodiversity and natural ecosystems improvements and recovery.
• Information technologies and complex system integration as alternatives to tackle current irrigation problems
• Data science, robotics, artificial intelligence and high throughput phenotyping, proximal and remote sensing, and modeling in irrigated agriculture
• Agro-hydrological models and decision support systems to improve decisions in irrigation management and in safe surface water-groundwater interactions.