Future increases in irrigation water requirement challenge the water-food nexus in the northeast farming region of China

Xu, H., Tian, Z., He, X., Wang, J., Sun, L., Fischer, G., Fan, D., Zhong, H., et al. (2019). Future increases in irrigation water requirement challenge the water-food nexus in the northeast farming region of China. Agricultural Water Management 213 594-604. 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.10.045.

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Northeast Farming Region of China (NFR) produces about one-third of the national maize output. Shortage of crop irrigation water is one of the main threat to the stable level of maize production in the NFR. Previous studies on the sensitivity of maize production to drought are typically based on field experiments and treat the maize growing season as a whole, with rare attention to the varying impacts of drought across different maize growth stages. Given the importance of NFR on China’s food security, it is crucial to optimize the irrigation schedule to mitigate the adverse effects of drought. In this study, we employ Agro-ecological Zone (AEZ) model to investigate how climate change affects irrigation water requirement (IWR) of maize during different growth stages and under different climate change scenarios. Results indicate that the NFR would experience a substantial increase in the probability of extremely shortage of crop irrigation water under future climate change. The ensemble simulation under future climate projections indicates more frequent demands for irrigation with substantially increased amount in the mid-season stage (G3) when maize is more sensitive to water deficit compared with other stages. These findings indicate that earlier planning of irrigation infrastructure and development of more efficient irrigation scheme and technologies is of great importance to secure maize production in the region.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irrigation water requirement; Climate change; Drought risk; Maize production; China
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2018 08:21
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2018 15:30
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15585

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