Co-organized by SSS6
Convener: Marco PeliECSECS | Co-conveners: Gabriel Rau, Giulio CastelliECSECS, Mark Cuthbert
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

In arid and semi-arid areas, the interaction between surface water management, irrigation practices, soil hydrologic dynamics and groundwater are key for sustainable water management, food production and for the resilience of agroecosystems. Their importance goes beyond the sole technological aspects, often being connected with some traditional techniques, part of local cultural heritage, to be faced with an (at least) interdisciplinary approach which involves also humanities. On the other hand, improper land and water management in those areas may contribute to soil degradation and groundwater exploitation. As an example, irrigation may lead to salinization of both the root-zone and shallow groundwater layers, with dramatic fallout on agricultural productivity, and overgrazing may lead soil to compaction with negative effects on the soil’s capability to buffer water.
This session presents contributions ranging from the understanding of the soil hydrological behaviour, including the mass fluxes between surface and groundwater, in arid and water—scarce environments; to the interaction between irrigation, soil hydrology and groundwater; and to the design and management of water harvesting and irrigation systems in arid and semi-arid regions, including oases. Particular attention will be given to the maintenance and improvement of traditional irrigation techniques as well as to precision irrigation techniques, also with local community involvement. Interdisciplinary contributions, which deal with different aspects and functions of the link between social dynamics, soil hydrology, groundwater management and irrigation techniques in arid environments, are encouraged.

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