Title: Estimating Irrigation Water Requirements in Europe
Authors: WRIEDT GunterVAN DER VELDE MarijnBOURAOUI FaycalALOE A.
Citation: JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY vol. 373 no. 3-4 p. 527-544
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC46749
ISSN: 0022-1694
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.05.018
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC46749
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.05.018
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Irrigated agriculture is one of the major water users in southern Europe putting water resources at risk. However, consistent information on irrigation water use in the European Unition are still lacking. We applied the crop growth model EPIC to calculate irrigation requirements in the EU and Switzerland, combining available regional statistics on crop growth and irrigated areas with spatial data sources on soils, land use and climate. The model was applied at a 10x10km grid covering the EU territory. The irrigation requirements reflect the spatial distribution of irrigated areas, climatic conditions and crop mix. A comparison to national data on water abstractions for irrigation generally showed consistent behaviour between calculations and observations though deviations do exist, which were attributed not only to limitations of the model but also to limitations in the assessment of statistical data and to the conceptual differences between irrigation requirements and actual water use. In support of European environmental and agricultural policies, this work provides a large scale overview on irrigation water requirements in Europe applying a uniform approach with a sufficiently high spatial resolution to support identification of hot-spots and regional comparisons. It will also provide a framework for national activities estimating irrigation water use.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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