Advertisement

Integrated Approach for Supporting Sustainable Water Resources Management of Irrigation Based on the WEFN Framework

  • Rossella de VitoEmail author
  • Alessandro Pagano
  • Ivan Portoghese
  • Raffaele Giordano
  • Michele Vurro
  • Umberto Fratino
Article
  • 14 Downloads

Abstract

Irrigated agriculture plays a vital role for the socio-economic development of the Mediterranean area, although it has significant impacts on both water and energy resources. Therefore, in a context in which water resources are also experiencing increasing pressures, there is an urgent need for supporting their sustainable management. This may be an extremely challenging task, especially at the local scale, due to the several interconnected dynamics affecting the state of a complex irrigation system. In fact, multiple actors are involved in decision-making processes, and the use of natural resources (and their mutual interactions) strongly depends on their behaviors, which affect the system as a whole. In this context, the present study proposes an integrated methodology, based on the Water Energy Food Nexus (WEFN), specifically focused on the sustainable management of water resources for irrigation. Firstly, a model based on Causal Loop Diagrams (CLD) is developed in order to get a deep insight into the key dynamics behind a complex irrigation system. Secondly, three indices based on the “footprint” concept are identified, in order to synthesize such dynamics. The integration of these two approaches support investigating the whole system and, particularly, understanding the influence of multiple decisional actors on it, as well as the role of a set of key drivers and constraints. This might also allow drawing some relevant conclusions, useful for supporting effective decisions oriented to a sustainable water resources management. Specific reference is made to a case study, the Capitanata irrigation system, located in the Southern Italy.

Keywords

Sustainable water resources management Water-energy-food Nexus Irrigation system Index-based approach Causal loop diagrams 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

None.

References

  1. Arborea S, Giannoccaro G, de Gennaro BC et al (2017) Cost-benefit analysis ofwastewater reuse in Puglia, southern Italy. Water 9:1–17.  https://doi.org/10.3390/w9030175
  2. Avellán T, Ardakanian R, Perret SR et al (2017) Considering resources beyond water: irrigation and drainage management in the context of the water-energy-food Nexus. Irrig Drain.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.2154
  3. Chapagain a K, Orr S (2009) An improved water footprint methodology linking global consumption to local water resources: a case of Spanish tomatoes. J Environ Manag 90:1219–1228.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.06.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chukalla AD, Krol MS, Hoekstra AY (2015) Green and blue water footprint reduction in irrigated agriculture: effect of irrigation techniques, irrigation strategies and mulching. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 19:4877–4891.  https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4877-2015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davies EGR, Simonovic SP (2010) ANEMI: a new model for integrated assessment of global change. Interdiscip Environ Rev 11:127.  https://doi.org/10.1504/IER.2010.037903 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. de Vito R, Portoghese I, Pagano A, et al (2017a) Sustainability Assessment of agricultural production through Causal Loop Diagrams. In: Panta Rhei . Book of abstracts of the 10th World Congress of EWRA on Water Resources and Environments. Grigoris Pubblications, 5-9 July 2017, Athens, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  7. de Vito R, Portoghese I, Pagano A, et al (2017b) An index-based approach for the sustainability assessment of irrigation practice based on the water-energy-food nexus framework. Adv Water Resour 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2017.10.027
  8. Donoso G, Blanco E, Franco G, Lira J (2015) Water footprints and irrigated agricultural sustainability: the case of Chile. Int J Water Resour Dev 0627:1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2015.1070710 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. EL-Gafy I, Grigg N, Waskom R (2017) Water-food-energy: Nexus and non-Nexus approaches for optimal cropping pattern. Water Resour Manag.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-017-1789-0
  10. FAO (2014) Walking the Nexus talk: assessing the water-energy-food Nexus in the context of the sustainable energy for all initiativeGoogle Scholar
  11. Giordano R, Brugnach M, Pluchinotta I (2016) Ambiguity in problem framing as a barrier to collective actions: some hints from groundwater protection policy in the Apulia region. Group Decis Negot 1–22.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-016-9519-1
  12. Halbe J, Pahl-Wostl C, Lange MA, Velonis C (2015) Governance of transitions towards sustainable development – the water–energy–food nexus in Cyprus. Water Int 8060:1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2015.1070328 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoekstra AY (2003) Virtual water trade. Proceedings of the International Expert Meeting on Virtual Water Trade 12:1–244Google Scholar
  14. Hoff H (2011) Understanding the Nexus. Background paper for the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference: Stock Environ Inst 1–52Google Scholar
  15. International Energy Agency (IEA) (2016) World Energy Outlook 2016Google Scholar
  16. IPCC (2008) Linking climate change and water resources: impacts and responses. Climate Change and Water- Technical Paper IV 2:33–51Google Scholar
  17. Jeong H, Adamowski J (2016) A system dynamics based socio-hydrological model for agricultural wastewater reuse at the watershed scale. Agric Water Manag 171:89–107.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.03.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Juwana I, Muttil N, Perera BJC (2012) Indicator-based water sustainability assessment - a review. Sci Total Environ 438:357–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Loucks D (2000) Sustainable water resources management. Water Int 25:3–10.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060008686793 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Martínez-Santos P, Martínez-Alfaro PE (2010) Estimating groundwater withdrawals in areas of intensive agricultural pumping in Central Spain. Agric Water Manag 98:172–181.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2010.08.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mekonnen M, Pahlow M, Aldaya M et al (2015) Sustainability, efficiency and equitability of water consumption and pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean. Sustainability 7:2086–2112.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su7022086 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mirchi A, Madani K, Watkins D, Ahmad S (2012) Synthesis of system dynamics tools for holistic conceptualization of water resources problems. Water Resour Manag 26:2421–2442.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-012-0024-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nardo M, Saisana M, Saltelli A, et al (2005) Handbook on constructing composite indicators: “metodology and user guide”.  https://doi.org/10.1787/533411815016 OECD
  24. Pahl-Wostl C (2002) Towards sustainability in the water sector - the importance of human actors and processes of social learning. Aquat Sci 64:394–411.  https://doi.org/10.1007/PL00012594 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pahl-wostl C, Craps M, Dewulf A et al (2007) Social learning and water resources management. Ecol Soc 12:5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Payen S, Basset-Mens C, Perret S (2015) LCA of local and imported tomato: an energy and water trade-off. J Clean Prod 87:139–148.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pluchinotta I, Pagano A, Giordano R, Tsoukiàs A (2018) A system dynamics model for supporting decision-makers in irrigation water management. J Environ Manag 223:815–824.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.083 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Portoghese I, D’Agostino D, Giordano R et al (2013) An integrated modelling tool to evaluate the acceptability of irrigation constraint measures for groundwater protection. Environ Model Softw 46:90–103.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.03.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Simonovic SP (2011) Systems approach to management of disasters: methods and applicationsGoogle Scholar
  30. Smidt SJ, Haacker EMK, Kendall AD et al (2016) Complex water management in modern agriculture: trends in the water-energy-food nexus over the High Plains aquifer. Sci Total Environ 566–567:988–1001.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.127 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sterman JD (2000) Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DICATEChPolitecnico di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Ricerca sulle AcqueC.N.RRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations