Planning & Management

Oral

393414 - An Integrated Hydrologic Model for the Assessment of Non-Traditional Water Use for Irrigation in Water-Stressed Agricultural Watersheds

Monday, June 4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Greenway GH
Co-Authors: Masoud Negahban-Azar, College Park, Maryland – University of Maryland

Intensified climate variability, depleting groundwater and escalating water demand creates severe stress on high quality water sources used for agricultural irrigation. The water scarcity exacts a necessity to explore the non-traditional water sources to sustain food production across the U.S. The objectives of this study are to provide a complete assessment of the agriculture water budget based on a hydrological model, and to develop a framework for incorporating and evaluating non-traditional water sources for agricultural irrigation. The San Joaquin watershed in the Center Valley of California was selected, where land use is dominated by agriculture (37.4% of total land use). The major croplands in this watershed are almond (10.35%), vineyard (8.2%), alfalfa (4.2%), winter wheat (2.6%), tomatoes (2.4%) and cotton (2.3%). Various conservation and water reuse scenarios were developed and evaluated including deficit irrigation (DI), conveyance improvement (CI), precise irrigation (PI), recycled water irrigation (RWI), and their combinations. The potential non-traditional water source scenario was developed through use of recycled water from wastewater treatment plants as an alternative for emergency agricultural water (e.g. during drought season), and to reduce freshwater extraction. For each scenario, environmental flow (e.g., surface runoff and groundwater) was estimated using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The cost-effectiveness (CE) of each scenarios was calculated and compared at each Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU). The primary results showed that, in sub-basins, where almond is the dominant crop, RWI scenario can reduce 14.2% of irrigated water use. In the same sub-basins, PI, DI and CI scenarios can reduce 2.4%, 13.8%, and 3.7% of irrigated water use respectively, compared to the baseline scenario. The outcomes from this study provides useful information for sustainable agricultural water management, and facilitates development of decision-making tools for the use of non-traditional water sources for agricultural irrigation.

Manashi Paul, PhD Student

Graduate Assistant
University of Maryland, College Park

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393414 - An Integrated Hydrologic Model for the Assessment of Non-Traditional Water Use for Irrigation in Water-Stressed Agricultural Watersheds



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