Climate change, water security and the need for integrated policy development: the case of on-farm infrastructure investment in the Australian irrigation sector

Maraseni, T. N. and Mushtaq, S. and Reardon-Smith, K. (2012) Climate change, water security and the need for integrated policy development: the case of on-farm infrastructure investment in the Australian irrigation sector. Environmental Research Letters, 7 (3). pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

The Australian Government is currently addressing the challenge of increasing water scarcity through significant on-farm infrastructure investment to facilitate the adoption of new water-efficient pressurized irrigation systems. However, it is highly likely that conversion to these systems will increase on-farm energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, suggesting potential conflicts in terms of mitigation and adaptation policies. This study explored the trade-offs associated with the adoption of more water efficient but energy-intensive irrigation technologies by developing an integrated assessment framework. Integrated analysis of five case studies revealed trade-offs between water security and environmental security when conversion to pressurized irrigation systems was evaluated in terms of fuel and energy-related emissions, except in cases where older hand-shift sprinkler irrigation systems were replaced. These results suggest that priority should be given, in implementing on-farm infrastructure investment policy, to replacing inefficient and energy-intensive sprinkler irrigation systems such as hand-shift and roll-line. The results indicated that associated changes in the use of agricultural machinery and agrochemicals may also be important. The findings of this study support the use of an integrated approach to avoid possible conflicts in designing national climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, both of which are being developed in Australia.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This in an open access title.
Depositing User: Dr Shahbaz Mushtaq
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - No Department
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2012 13:02
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2014 06:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: water security; greenhouse gas emissions; irrigation technologies; integrated trade-offs framework; Australia
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/3/034006
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21644

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