Integrated assessment of water-energy-GHG emissions tradeoffs in an irrigated lucerne production system in eastern Australia

Mushtaq, S. and Maraseni, T. N. and Reardon-Smith, K. and Bundschuh, J. and Jackson, T. (2015) Integrated assessment of water-energy-GHG emissions tradeoffs in an irrigated lucerne production system in eastern Australia. Journal of Cleaner Production, 103. pp. 491-498. ISSN 0959-6526

Abstract

Robust understanding of possible trade-offs and synergies between climate change, energy and water sector policies is critical to achieving economically viable and environmentally sound agricultural production systems in a low-carbon water-constrained economy, in which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are penalized and water savings rewarded. Accurate assessment of the potential costs/benefits of investment decisions can help to optimize the economic efficiency of agricultural production while minimizing environmental impacts. This paper presents a novel integrated framework, based on carbon and water accounting, which enables analysis of potential trade-offs between water savings, energy consumption, GHG emissions and economic costs/benefits associated with the adoption of new water efficient irrigation technologies. The framework was applied to an irrigated lucerne cropping system in eastern Australia and compares the costs/benefits of old roll-line sprinkler irrigation systems against new pressurized systems. Positive synergies were found with the adoption of the new technology, which saved both water and energy use, reduced total GHG emissions and resulted in net economic returns across a range of carbon prices. The results of this study provide support for an integrated evidence-based approach to policy development and strategic decision-making and for the prioritization of investments on both economic and environmental grounds.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 03:11
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 00:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: GHG emissions; irrigation systems; water use efficiency; energy demand; trade-offs analysis; evidence-base for policy
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070199 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Plant Production
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.05.037
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25610

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