Soil-hydrological responses to rainfall variation in a subtropical Australian landscape

Kodur, S. and Robinson, J. B. and Foley, J. L. and Silburn, D. M. (2015) Soil-hydrological responses to rainfall variation in a subtropical Australian landscape. Irrigation and Drainage , 64 (5). pp. 694-702. ISSN 1531-0353


Reliable water supply for farming is a global concern, including the Lockyer Valley region, Australia. Knowledge of rainfall variation and resulting irrigation demand and deep drainage can improve crop water use and minimize salinity. Therefore, we modelled irrigation demand and deep drainage for different land-use types of the Lockyer Valley and classified them according to rainfall. During the periods of extremely low rainfall (mean = 468 mm yr-1), deep drainage fell by 35–239 mm yr-1, whereas irrigation demand rose by 160–310 mm yr-1, relative to extremely high rainfall (1138 mm yr-1). With all land-use types, deep drainage rose with water input, but it was consistent in the order (mean, mm yr-1): lucerne (8–11), native grass (13), sorghum–wheat sequence (37–64), bare fallow (169) and sweetcorn–broccoli–bean sequence (225). Decadal trends in irrigation demand and deep drainage signalled a raising future irrigation demand; and in turn potential deep drainage risks if irrigation is not managed wisely. These findings will have broader implications for crop and environment management under rainfall variation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 05:00
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 01:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate; drainage; irrigation; modelling; water balance
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/ird.1946

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