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Irrigated agriculture and climate change: The influence of water supply variability and salinity on adaptation

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  • Connor, Jeffery D.
  • Schwabe, Kurt
  • King, Darran
  • Knapp, Keith

Abstract

Increased irrigation has been identified as an important potential adaptation to meet growing world food demand. Yet many of the world's major irrigation regions are in arid and semi-arid regions that face climate change projections of hotter and drier weather. A growing body of analysis assesses irrigated agriculture impacts of climate change in such regions. Most published literature focuses on reductions in the mean-levels of freshwater supplies; less information is available on the potential impacts from changes in the reliability and quality of those diminishing water supplies. This article investigates the combined impacts on irrigated agricultural food supply from reduced, more variable and more saline water supply for a representative semi-arid irrigation region. Results indicate that understanding the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production requires an understanding of not only how production may adapt to changes in mean water supplies, but also how it may respond to changes in water supply variability and salinity. We illustrate, using an Australian, Murray Darling Basin semi-arid region example, that ignoring these combined water-related climate effects lead to results that overlook thresholds where the structure of production and cost incurred fundamentally change above certain levels of variability and salinity.

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  • Connor, Jeffery D. & Schwabe, Kurt & King, Darran & Knapp, Keith, 2012. "Irrigated agriculture and climate change: The influence of water supply variability and salinity on adaptation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 149-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:77:y:2012:i:c:p:149-157
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.02.021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffery D Connor & Mac Kirby & Anna Lukasiewicz & David Kaczan, 2008. "Impacts of Reduced Water Availability on Lower Murray Irrigation, Australia," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2008-02, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
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    8. John Quiggin & David Adamson & Sarah Chambers & Peggy Schrobback, 2010. "Climate Change, Uncertainty, and Adaptation: The Case of Irrigated Agriculture in the Murray–Darling Basin in Australia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(4), pages 531-554, December.
    9. Kurt A. Schwabe & Iddo Kan & Keith C. Knapp, 2006. "Drainwater Management for Salinity Mitigation in Irrigated Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 133-149.
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    1. Murad, Khandakar Faisal Ibn & Hossain, Akbar & Fakir, Oli Ahmed & Biswas, Sujit Kumar & Sarker, Khokan Kumer & Rannu, Rahena Parvin & Timsina, Jagadish, 2018. "Conjunctive use of saline and fresh water increases the productivity of maize in saline coastal region of Bangladesh," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 262-270.
    2. Mukherjee, Monobina & Schwabe, Kurt A., 2012. "Valuing Access To Multiple Water Supply Sources In Irrigated Agriculture With A Hedonic Pricing Model," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124604, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Juliane Haensch & Sarah Ann Wheeler & Alec Zuo & Henning Bjornlund, 2016. "The Impact of Water and Soil Salinity on Water Market Trading in the Southern Murray–Darling Basin," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 1-26, March.
    4. Rianne van Duinen & Tatiana Filatova & Peter Geurts & Anne van der Veen, 2015. "Empirical Analysis of Farmers' Drought Risk Perception: Objective Factors, Personal Circumstances, and Social Influence," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 35(4), pages 741-755, April.
    5. King, Darran A. & Meyer, Wayne S. & Connor, Jeffery D., 2019. "Interactive land use strategic assessment: An assessment tool for irrigation profitability under climate uncertainty," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 224(C), pages 1-1.
    6. Israel Finkelshtain & Iddo Kan & Mickey Rapaport‐Rom, 2020. "Substitutability of Freshwater and Non‐Freshwater Sources in Irrigation: an Econometric Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(4), pages 1105-1134, August.
    7. Marcos, Mathias & Sharifi, Hussain & Grattan, Stephen R. & Linquist, Bruce A., 2018. "Spatio-temporal salinity dynamics and yield response of rice in water-seeded rice fields," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 37-46.
    8. Loch, Adam & Adamson, David & Mallawaarachchi, Thilak, 2013. "Hydrology and Economics in Water Management Policy under Increasing uncertainty," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 156479, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    9. Wheeler, Sarah Ann & Marning, Angelika, 2019. "Turning water into wine: Exploring water security perceptions and adaptation behaviour amongst conventional, organic and biodynamic grape growers," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 528-537.
    10. Fabien Martinez, 2015. "A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Framework of Corporate Water Responsibility," Post-Print hal-02887624, HAL.
    11. Adam Loch & David Adamson, 2015. "Drought and the rebound effect: a Murray–Darling Basin example," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 79(3), pages 1429-1449, December.
    12. Rianne Duinen & Tatiana Filatova & Wander Jager & Anne Veen, 2016. "Going beyond perfect rationality: drought risk, economic choices and the influence of social networks," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 57(2), pages 335-369, November.
    13. Petheram, C. & McKellar, L. & Holz, L. & Poulton, P. & Podger, S. & Yeates, S., 2016. "Evaluation of the economic feasibility of water harvesting for irrigation in a large semi-arid tropical catchment in northern Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 84-98.
    14. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum G., 2014. "Climate change, adaptation and China's grain production," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 72-89.
    15. Connor, Jeffery D. & Kandulu, John M. & Bark, Rosalind H., 2014. "Irrigation revenue loss in Murray–Darling Basin drought: An econometric assessment," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 163-170.
    16. Adamson, David & Loch, Adam, 2014. "Possible negative feedbacks from ‘gold-plating’ irrigation infrastructure," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 134-144.
    17. Laishram Kanta Singh & Madan K. Jha & V. M. Chowdary, 2021. "Evaluation of water demand and supply under varying meteorological conditions in Eastern India and mitigation strategies for sustainable agricultural production," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 1264-1291, February.
    18. Adamson, David & Loch, Adam, 2013. "Natural capital and climate change: Possible negative sustainability impacts from 'gold plating' irrigation infrastructure," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 156480, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    19. Mukherjee, Monobina & Schwabe, Kurt A., 2014. "Where's the salt? A spatial hedonic analysis of the value of groundwater to irrigated agriculture," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 110-122.
    20. Funes, I. & Savé, R. & de Herralde, F. & Biel, C. & Pla, E. & Pascual, D. & Zabalza, J. & Cantos, G. & Borràs, G. & Vayreda, J. & Aranda, X., 2021. "Modeling impacts of climate change on the water needs and growing cycle of crops in three Mediterranean basins," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 249(C).
    21. Wheeler, Sarah Ann & Zuo, Alec & Loch, Adam, 2015. "Watering the farm: Comparing organic and conventional irrigation water use in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 78-85.
    22. Claire Settre & Jeff Connor & Sarah Ann Wheeler, 2017. "Reviewing the Treatment of Uncertainty in Hydro-economic Modeling of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(03), pages 1-35, July.
    23. Kahil, Mohamed Taher & Connor, Jeffery D. & Albiac, Jose, 2015. "Efficient water management policies for irrigation adaptation to climate change in Southern Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 226-233.

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