Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 12, pp 3903–3918 | Cite as

The Economic Value of Groundwater Irrigation for Food Security Under Climate Change: Implication of Representative Concentration Pathway Climate Scenarios

  • Abdelaziz A. GoharEmail author
  • Adrian Cashman


Sustainable management of groundwater resources to support food security under the potential effects of climate change is an emerging area of research and particularly relevant in the context of Small Island Developing States. Employing three regional downscaled Representative Connection Pathway (RCP 2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP 8.5) emission scenarios that have been linked to an economic evaluation framework, the potential impact of climate change on groundwater scarcity, economic value of groundwater irrigation, food security, and farming livelihoods is investigated. A nonlinear hydro-economic framework, which integrates groundwater hydrology, climate data, land use, economics and institutions, has been applied for the island of Barbados. Results indicate that climate change would intensify the dependency on groundwater irrigation overtime, modulated by climate intensity. The strength of climate change will boost the marginal value of groundwater irrigation, as food price will scale up, presenting negative impacts on food security and reducing farming livelihoods. The climate change would also result in higher cost of producing foods resulting from increased cost of pumping, mainly driven by the effect of meeting abstraction needs for domestic and municipal consumption. Our primary results show that for a small island, sustaining groundwater resources will be a challenging objective to achieve under severe climate change.


Climate change Food security Groundwater irrigation Marginal value Representative concentration pathways 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Supplementary material

11269_2018_2026_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 86 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Resource Management and Environmental StudiesUniversity of the West Indies, Cave Hill CampusBridgetownBarbados
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, College of AgricultureSouth Valley UniversityQenaEgypt

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