Water and Agriculture


IWRM W4140 Water and Agriculture
Exam Code 4140
Credit Points 5 ECTS
Term Summer
Module Coordination Prof. Lars Ribbe
Lecturers Prof. Lars Ribbe, Dr. Rui Pedroso, Prof. Dr Hartmut Gaese
Workload (h) 42 Attendance (h) 108 Self-Study (h) 150 Total Workload (h)
Prerequisites Recommended Module ITT-N-09 Soil Management
Intended Learning Outcome After completion of this module the participants will be able to:

  • Develop concrete measures to optimize water use in agriculture considering water demand, crop production and environmental impacts
  • By applying quantitative modeling approaches to the agro-hydrological water balance

In order to contribute to long term strategic planning of irrigated and rainfed agriculture

Content Water and irrigation management at the watershed level

  • Water policy and governance aspects
  • Water management at different scales: water uses, key-stakeholders, water user’s associations

Operation of irrigation at the main-distribution-system scale

  • Irrigation system distribution components

(primary canal, secondary units, tertiary units)

  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Rigid schedules and flexible schedules
  • Examples of main-distribution system operation
  • Maintenance of irrigation schemes

Operation of irrigation at the on-farm scale

  • Identification of soil types and their soil-water holding capacity
  • Definition of crop’s evapotranspiration rates and determination of crop and irrigation water requirements
  • Soil-water balance and yield response to water
  • Applications: managing a rotational water distribution system

Irrigation water use efficiency at different scales

  • The dual-sided debate on the theory of irrigation efficiency – Classical and neoclassical measures of efficiency: Basin-level efficiency and effective irrigation efficiency, Irrigation efficiency (scheme level), On-farm irrigation efficiency

Development potentials of rain-fed agriculture: implications and trade-offs at the basin scale

  • The Green and Blue water resources and flows
  • Options for developing rain-fed agriculture at the basin scale: integrated water and land management strategies
  • Assessment of impacts of water management strategies to downstream water users and ecosystems

Agriculture and non-point sources (NPS) of pollution

  • Most important different potential sources of non-source pollution associated with agriculture: Sediments, Nutrients, Pesticides, Salinity, Other
  • Approaches for monitoring and reducing the impacts of NPS of pollution from agriculture
Teaching Method Lectures and short presentations, project-based exercises
Assesment Method Report (100%)
Recommended Reading
Version 21.11.2015

Next Module IWRM: Water Economics and Governance

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