EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A standardized, hybrid, field guide for appraising water erosion risk by practitioners in multiple woody crops and environments

Jose Alfonso Gomez1, Gema Guzman1, Auxiliadora Soriano2, Peter Strauss3, Péter László4, Ruoshui Wang5, Lisha Wang5, Josef Krasa6, Tomas Dostal6, Zhiqian Wang7, John Quinton8, Qinke Yang9, Stefan Strohmeier10, Cristina Vasquez10, Marton Toth10, Marcella Biddoccu11, and Xiaoping Zhang12
Jose Alfonso Gomez et al.
  • 1Inst.for Sustainable Agriculture. CSIC., Agronomy, Cordoba, Spain (
  • 2ETSIAM. University of Cordoba. Cordoba. Spain.
  • 3Federal Agency for Water Management, Petzenkirchen, Austria
  • 4Institute for Soil Sciences, ATK. Budapest. Hungary
  • 5College of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University. China.
  • 6Czech Technical University in Prague. Czech Republic.
  • 7Faculty of Geography Sciences, Beijing Normal University. China
  • 8University of Lancaster. United Kingdom.
  • 9Northwest University. Xian. China.
  • 10University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, BOKU, Vienna. Austria
  • 11CNR-STEMS. Torino, Italy
  • 12Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, NWAFU. Yangling. China

Under a climate change scenario combining droughts and high intensity rainfall periods, with water erosion damages are becoming more important. So, farmers and land managers must be aware of the consequences of erosion and prevent it, where possible, or at least mitigate their effects. However, evaluation of water erosion risk is usually model-based and complex and therefore not appealing to end users who demand simple, and easy to understand tools to acquire knowledge and adapt farm management and agricultural practices. Paradoxically, some of the key information to understand and predict the effect of soil management can only be properly identified at farm scale with help from practitioners.

This suggests that there is scope for tools that allow the appraisal of water erosion risk by practitioners at farm level. There are successful examples of this approach, for instance Millgroom et al. (2006, 2007) who developed a field tool for organic olive growers. This based field tool was based on a simplified version of the RUSLE (Renard et al., 1997), to assess water erosion risk in organic olive groves at farm scale in Southern Spain. Its approach consisted of four steps: 1) to divide the farm into homogenous zones according to soil types, topography and management practices; 2) to complete an evaluation of the general erosion risk on each previously defined area taking into consideration, crop typology, management practices and topography; 3) to conduct an on-farm check for the visual symptoms of soil erosion on the different defined areas of the farm to account for effects of specific soil type and climate; 4) to combine the general erosion risk (Appraisal 1) and the on-farm check (Appraisal 2) to assess the overall erosion risk.

Although this tool proved successful among practitioners and it showed its potential, in its original form it is confined to a specific niche. Clearly, there is the need to expand this approach for a more general use.

This communication presents a preliminary, in progress, version of a field tool for appraising water erosion risk in woody crops valid in multiple environments and crops, developed in the context of the EU/China TUdi project and the EIP-Agri Operational Group BIOLIVAR. It will combine a dual approach combining erosion risk estimation, from basic farm and management features based on simplified RUSLE factors, with erosion symptoms. Its design is based for a hybrid use, and is available either in a paper form (which remains the most operational one in many field conditions) or in a web-based tool. With this approach this tool aims to achieve these objectives:

1- To provide a standardize tool valid across multiple environments and crops to evaluate water erosion risk in woody crops.

2- To develop an educational tool to provide training on prevention water erosion.

3-To reinforce international cooperation among Chinese and European teams, in cooperation with practitioners.

Acknowledgements: This work is supported projects TUdi (Horizon 2020, GA 101000224), PID2019-105793RB-I00 (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) and GOPO-SE-20-0002 (EIP-Agri).

How to cite: Gomez, J. A., Guzman, G., Soriano, A., Strauss, P., László, P., Wang, R., Wang, L., Krasa, J., Dostal, T., Wang, Z., Quinton, J., Yang, Q., Strohmeier, S., Vasquez, C., Toth, M., Biddoccu, M., and Zhang, X.: A standardized, hybrid, field guide for appraising water erosion risk by practitioners in multiple woody crops and environments, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1398,, 2023.

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