Transformations accompanying a shift from surface to drip irrigation in the Cànyoles Watershed, Valencia, Spain

Sese-Minguez, Saioa and Boesveld, Harm and Asins-Velis, Sabina and van der Kooij, Saskia and Maroulis, Jerry (2017) Transformations accompanying a shift from surface to drip irrigation in the Cànyoles Watershed, Valencia, Spain. Water Alternatives, 10 (1). pp. 81-99.

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Abstract

Drip irrigation is widely promoted in Spain to increase agricultural production and to save water. In the Cànyoles watershed, Valencia, we analysed the consequences of change from surface irrigation to drip irrigation over the past 25 years. There were a number of transformations resulting from, or accelerated by, this change including the 1) intensification of well construction causing a redistribution in access to groundwater, water shortages and a lowering of the groundwater table; 2) expansion of irrigation into former rain-dependent uphill areas resulting in increased water use; 3) shift to higher- value monoculture fruit crops, but with associated higher crop water requirements; 4) increased electrical energy consumption and higher costs due to groundwater pumping; and 5) loss of cultural heritage as wells have replaced traditional surface irrigation infrastructure that originated in the Middle Ages. Consequently, the authors argue that transitioning from surface irrigation to drip irrigation should critically look beyond the obvious short-term benefits that are intended by the introduction of the technology, and consider possible unforeseen side effects, that may have serious long-term impacts on the environment and the community.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: THIS ARTICLE IS DISTRIBUTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIAL-SHAREALIKE LICENSE WHICH PERMITS ANY NON COMMERCIAL USE, DISTRIBUTION, AND REPRODUCTION IN ANY MEDIUM, PROVIDED THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR(S) AND SOURCE ARE CREDITED. SEE HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-SA/3.0/LEGALCODE
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 05:55
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2018 23:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: drip irrigation, water saving, energy consumption, agricultural land use/expansion, cultural heritage loss, Cànyoles watershed, Spain
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30545

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