The quality of irrigation water has high influences on the environment, the soil and the crop, as examples of salinisation and waterlogging show worldwide. Not only the salt content of irrigation water needs to be monitored, but also the content of heavy metals and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.
Climate Change and Water Quality
Higher water temperatures and changes in extremes, including floods and droughts, are projected to affect water quality and exacerbate many forms of water pollution — from sediments, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, pathogens, pesticides and salt, as well as thermal pollution, with possible negative impacts on ecosystems, human health, and water system reliability and operating costs. In addition, sea-level rise is projected to extend areas of salinisation of groundwater and estuaries, resulting in a decrease of freshwater availability for humans and ecosystems in coastal areas.
The changes in water quality that climate change brings about are very likely to negatively affect food security and public health. Additionally the existing water infrastructure (power plants, flood defences, drainage, and irrigation systems) will face major challenges when dealing with the expected quality and quantity of water. Climate Change will further aggravate the current issues with regard to urbanisation, land management, population growth, economic intensification. The water management systems applied today don't sufficiently prepare for the upcoming changes.
Irrigation with marginal quality water
Mateo-Sagasta, J., Burke, J.: Agriculture and water quality interactions: a global overview. SOLAW Background Thematic Report. FAO. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/solaw/files/thematic_reports/TR_08.pdf [19 April 2013]
FAO (1986): Water Quality for Agriculture.
for Brackish Water Irrigation in the Jordan Valley GIZ (2003): Guidelines for Brackish Water Irrigation in the Jordan Valley.
for Reclaimed Water Irrigation in the Jordan Valley GIZ (2006): Guidelines for Reclaimed Water Irrigation in the Jordan Valley.
[http://agriwaterpedia.info/Irrigation and the environment - A review of environmental issues GIZ
(1993): Irrigation and the environment. A review of environment issues.
Part I & II: Environmental considerations in planning and
More information related to the use of marginal quality water can be found in FAO Irrigation with Marginal Quality Water.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2008): Technical Paper on Climate Change and Water. Finalized at the 37th Session of the IPCC Bureau. http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session28/doc13.pdf [accessed 31 May 2013]