IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Water use in rain-fed farming at different scales in the Pampas of Argentina


  • Frank, F.C.
  • Viglizzo, E.F.


Water use in farming will be an issue of increasing global concern since competition for freshwater among sectors will grow, especially in a water-scarce scenario. Understanding how farming system configurations at different scales affect the partitioning of annual rainfall between production and losses is essential to manage water in rain-fed farming. Data from 198 commercial farms in the Pampas of Argentina were analyzed to assess water use at four different scales: (a) plot, (b) farm, (c) agro-ecological area and (d) whole region. This study offers a novel cross-scale approach and an analytical tool to evaluate water-use relationships in the study region beyond the classical plant–soil–water relationships. Results showed that cattle activities require more water than crops at the plot scale but at broader ones water use patterns are determined largely by cultivation. Given the different performance across scales, results suggest that complex spatial interactions and emerging properties can arise when the analyses are scaled-up from the plot to the regional level. The detection of scale-dependent properties regarding water use will enhance the value of information and knowledge that decision makers operating at different scales need.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank, F.C. & Viglizzo, E.F., 2012. "Water use in rain-fed farming at different scales in the Pampas of Argentina," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:109:y:2012:i:c:p:35-42
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2012.02.003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Viglizzo, Ernesto F. & Frank, Federico C., 2006. "Land-use options for Del Plata Basin in South America: Tradeoffs analysis based on ecosystem service provision," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 140-151, April.
    2. Ortega, J. F. & de Juan, J. A. & Tarjuelo, J. M., 2004. "Evaluation of the water cost effect on water resource management:: Application to typical crops in a semiarid region," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 125-144, April.
    3. Aboudrare, A. & Debaeke, P. & Bouaziz, A. & Chekli, H., 2006. "Effects of soil tillage and fallow management on soil water storage and sunflower production in a semi-arid Mediterranean climate," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 183-196, June.
    4. Jin, Menggui & Zhang, Renquan & Sun, Lianfa & Gao, Yunfu, 1999. "Temporal and spatial soil water management: a case study in the Heilonggang region, PR China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 173-187, November.
    5. Kang, Shaozhong & Zhang, Fucang & Zhang, Jianhua, 2001. "A simulation model of water dynamics in winter wheat field and its application in a semiarid region," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 115-129, July.
    6. Bandyopadhyay, P. K. & Mallick, S., 2003. "Actual evapotranspiration and crop coefficients of wheat (Triticum aestivum) under varying moisture levels of humid tropical canal command area," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 33-47, March.
    7. Qadir, M. & Boers, Th. M. & Schubert, S. & Ghafoor, A. & Murtaza, G., 2003. "Agricultural water management in water-starved countries: challenges and opportunities," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 165-185, October.
    8. Aldaya, M.M. & Allan, J.A. & Hoekstra, A.Y., 2010. "Strategic importance of green water in international crop trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 887-894, February.
    9. Qassim, Abdi & Dunin, Frank & Bethune, Matthew, 2008. "Water balance of centre pivot irrigated pasture in northern Victoria, Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 566-574, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:109:y:2012:i:c:p:35-42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.