Adaptation of Contemporary Irrigation Systems to Face the Challenges of Future Climate Changes in the Mediterranean Region: A Case Study of the Lower Seyhan Irrigation System

  • Rıza KanberEmail author
  • Mustafa Ünlü
  • Burçak Kapur
  • Bülent Özekici
  • Sevgi Donma
Part of the The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science book series (APESS, volume 18)


The Mediterranean region will be particularly affected by climate change over the 21st century. Rising temperatures and more marked drought periods will affect spatial and temporal precipitation and hence the water resources. This paper first reviews and evaluates the current and future social and environmental pressures on water resources, including climate change. The results show that pressures are not uniform across the region and sectors of water use. The changes in temperature and precipitation predicted by the general circulation models for the Mediterranean region will affect water availability and resource management, critically shaping the patterns of future crop production. The temperatures in the Mediterranean region are expected to rise by +2 to +3 °C by 2050, then by +3 to 5 °C by 2100. The water-poor countries are likely to be the most affected by 2100, and rainfall is likely to have decreased by 20–30% in the countries to the south, opposed to merely 10% in those to the north. The Mediterranean basin is thus predicted to be particularly sensitive to climate change.

This paper also evaluates the adaptation capacity of the Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project area to the future climate change as a case study. The case study reflects the outcomes of the Turkish Japanese bi-lateral project entitled “Impact of climate changes on the agricultural production system in arid areas-ICCAP”. The ICCAP project was launched in the Seyhan River Basin located in the east of the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The effects of climate change on temperature and precipitation have been estimated by different models of MRI-GCM and CCSR-GCM. According to the generated scenarios by these models, the surface temperature may increase by 2.0 °C to 3.5 °C respectively by 2070. The total precipitation for the whole of Turkey may decrease by 20%, while it will decrease by 25% in the LSIP area, 42–46% in Adana (located in the Lower Seyhan Plain), and by an average of 30% in the Seyhan River Basin. However, the LSIP at present seems to have a large adaptive capacity towards climatic and social changes. To sustain its productivity, it is strongly recommended to farmers and water users’ associations to improve irrigation and water use efficiency by means of better maintenance of irrigation canals, better gate operations and employment of better application techniques. This would improve the equity of water allocation and distribution, avoid high water tables and conserve the soil. In the whole area, especially in the coastal zone, the appropriate management of subsurface drainage is vital for avoiding salinity and waterlogging. The use of the deep groundwater should be avoided because of the risk of salt intrusion.


Climate change ICCAP agricultural irrigation Water resources 



This research was conducted as one part of the ICCAP (Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Production System in Arid Areas) Project. It is a collaboration research between Research Institute of Humanity and Nature of Japan and TUBİTAK (The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey). Finally, the authors extend their thanks to the guest editors for their contributions during the review process of our chapter.


  1. Alpert P (2004) Rainfall and Temperature Trends to Extremes over the Mediterranean and Tropical effects. ICCAP-Cappadocia workshop 21–23 November 2004.Google Scholar
  2. Alpert P, Baldi M, Ilani R, Krichak SO, Price C, Rodo X, Saaroni H, Ziv B, Kishcha P, Barkan J, Mariotti A, Xoplaki E (2006) Relations Between Climate Variability in The Mediterranean Region and the Tropics: ENSO, South Asian and African Monsoons, Hurricanes and Saharan Dust. In Lionello P, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Boscolo R (eds) Mediterranean Climate Variability. p 149–177, Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2002) Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project. Regional Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, p 8 Adana (Unpublished, data).Google Scholar
  4. Aquastat (2010) Global İnformation System on Water and Agriculture. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations.Google Scholar
  5. Baykam AR (2004) The Environmental Atlas of Turkey. Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dir of Environmental Impact Assessment, Office of Environmental Archiving, 143–157 Ankara (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  6. Blue Plan (2008) Water: Virtual Water: Which perspective for the Mediterranean Water Management and Distribution? Environment and Development in the Mediterranean. N° 8 April 2008.Google Scholar
  7. Boucheron JM (2010) Water Resources in the Mediterranean (report).Google Scholar
  8. Brönnimann S, Xoplaki E, Casty C, Pauling A, Luterbacher J (2007) ENSO influence on Europe during the last centuries. Climate Dynamics 28:181–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bulut A (2010) The tourism and water resources of Turkey. The Antalya Medical Board; at: (14 December 2010).
  10. Çetin M, Diker K (2003) Assessing drainage problem areas by GIS: A case study in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Irrigation Drainage 52(4):343–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Correia FN (1999) Water Resources in the Mediterranean Region. International Water Resources Association. Water International 24(1):22–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deque M, Jones RG, Wild M, Giorgi F, Christensen JH, Hassell DC, Vidale PL, Rockel B, Jacob D, Kjellström E, de Castro M, Kucharski F, van den Hurk B (2005) Global high resolution versus Limited Area Model scenarios over Europe: results from the PRUDENCE project. Climate Dynamics 25:653–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dinç U, Sari M, Şenol S, Kapur S, Sayin M, Derici MR, Çavuşgil V, Gok M, Aydın M, Ekinci H, Ağca N, Schlichting E (1995) The Çukurova Region Soils. Publication of Agricultural Faculty, University of Çukurova, No. 26 (in Turkish with extended English summary), Adana.Google Scholar
  14. EEA (2010) The European Environment-State and Outlook 2010: Consumption and Environment. European Environment Agency.Google Scholar
  15. Evsahibioğlu AN, Aküzüm T, Çakmak B (2010) Water management, water use strategies and international water rights. 7. Technical Congress of the chamber of Agricultural Engineers Book of Proceedings 1, 119–134, Ankara (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  16. FAO (2005) FAO’s global informations system of water and agriculture. Food and Agriculture Organizations (2005) Databases; at:
  17. Fujinawa K, Tanaka K, Fujihara Y, Kojiri T (2007) The impacts of climate change on the hydrology and water resources of Seyhan River Basin, Turkey. The Research Project on the Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production System in Arid Areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 53–58.Google Scholar
  18. Gibelin AL, Deque M (2003) Anthropogenic climate change over the Mediterranean region simulated by a global variable resolution model. Climate Dynamics 20:327–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Giorgi F, Marinucci MR, Visconti G (1992) A 2 × CO2 climate change scenario over Europe generated using a limited area model nested in a general circulation model. II: climate change scenario. Journal of Geophysical Research 97:10011–10028.Google Scholar
  20. Giorgi F, Lionello P (2008) Climate change projections for the Mediterranean region. Global Planet Change 63:90–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hamdy A, Lacirigniola C (1994) Water Resource Management in the Mediterranean Basin. Proc. In International Conference on Land and Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean Region. Vol. I, CIHAEM/IAM-B, Bari, Italy, pp 1–28.Google Scholar
  22. Hamdy A, Lacirigniola C (1999) Mediterranean Water Resources: Major Challenges Towards the 21st Century. Bari, CIHAEM/IAM-B.Google Scholar
  23. Hamdy A, Lacirigniola C (2005) Coping with Water Scarcity in the Mediterranean: What, Why, and How. Bari, CIHAEM/IAM-B.Google Scholar
  24. Hamoda MF (2004) Water strategies and potential of water reuse in the south Mediterranean countries. Desalination 165:31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoshikawa T, Nagano T, Kume T, Watanabe T (2007) Evaluation climate changes on the Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project, Turkey. The Research Project on the Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production System In Arid Areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 217–226.Google Scholar
  26. ICCAP (2007) Final report of Turkish Group on the ICCAP: Impact of climastic change on agricultural production system in arid areas (Turkish). ICCAP Pub. No. 12, Kyoto, p 181.Google Scholar
  27. Iglesias A, Garrote L, Flores F, Mone M (2007) Challenges to Manage the Risk of Water Scarcity and Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Water Resources Management 21:775–788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Published for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Kanber R, Çullu MA, Kendirli B, Antepli S, Yılmaz N (2004) Irrigation, Drainage and Salinity. 6. Technical Congress of the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, Proceedings 213–252 (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  30. Kanber R, Watanabe T, Ünlü M, Tekin S (2007) Outcomes of the ICCAP-Turkish Team. ICCAP Workshop, Jan. 30, 2007. Kyoto, Japan.Google Scholar
  31. Kanber R, Kapur B, Ünlü M, Koç DL, Tekin S (2008) Agricultural drought and contemporary irrigation technologies. Türktarım J 178:14–18 (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  32. Kimura F, Kitoh A, Sumi A, Asanuma J, Yatagai A (2007) Downscaling of the global warming projections to Turkey. The final report of ICCAP. The research project on the impact of climate changes on agricultural production system in arid areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, p 21–32.Google Scholar
  33. Kitoh A (2007) Future climate projections around Turkey by global climate model. The final report of ICCAP. The research project on the impact of climate changes on agricultural production system in arid areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 39–42.Google Scholar
  34. Kume T, Nagano T, Akça E, Donma S, Hoshikawa K, Berberoğlu S, Serdem M, Kapur S, Watanabe T (2007) Impact of irrigation water use on the groundwater environment and soil salinity. The research project on the impact of climate changes on agricultural production system in arid areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 205–210,Google Scholar
  35. Milano M (2010) The foreseeable impacts of climate change on the water resources of four major Mediterranean catchment basins. HSM, Plan Blue, Reginal Activity Centre, p 6.Google Scholar
  36. Nagano T, Donma S, Hoshikawa K, Kume T, Umetsu C, Akça E, Önder S, Berberoğlu S, Özekici B, Watanabe T, Kapur S, Kanber R (2007a) The integrated assessment of the impact of climate change on Lower Seyhan Irrigation project. The research project on the impact of climate changes on agricultural production system in arid areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 193–204.Google Scholar
  37. Nagano T, Donma S, Kume T, Berberoğlu S, Hoshikawa K, Akça E, Kapur S, Watanabe T (2007b) Long-term changes of level and salinity of shallow water table in the Lower Seyhan Plain, Turkey. The research project on the impact of climate changes on agricultural production system in arid areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 211–216.Google Scholar
  38. Nagano T, Hoshikawa K, Donma S, Kume T, Önder S, Özekici B, Kanber R, Watanabe T (2007c) Assessing Impact of Climate Change on the Large Irrigation District in Turkey with Irrigation Management Performance Assessment Model. Proc. in the International Congress on River Basin Management, Chap. II, 22–24 March, 2007, pp 651–664, Antalya.Google Scholar
  39. Özekici B, Donma S, Önder S, Nagano T (2006) Evaluation of Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project. Communications to the International Conference on Renewable Energies and Water Technologies. 7-7 Oct. RES 1-7, Almeria, Spain.Google Scholar
  40. Plan Blue (2009) State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean. United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) – Plan Bleu, P.O. Box 18019, p 200, Athens, Greece.Google Scholar
  41. Şaylan L, Çaldağ B (2001) Drought and overcome recommendations. Chamber of Meteorological Engineers, 14–15 (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  42. Shatanawi M, Naber S, Shammout M (2009) Mainstreaming agricultural and water polices for social equity and economical efficiency. In technological perspectives for rational use of water resources in the Mediterranean Region. Edired By M. El Moujabber, L. Mandi, G.T. Liuzzi, I. Martin, A. Rabi and R. Rodriguez. Options Mediterranean. Series A: Mediterranean Seminars, Number 88, pp 209–220.Google Scholar
  43. Somot S, Sevault F, Deque M, Crepon M (2008) 21st Century Climate Change Scenario for the Mediterranean using a coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Regional Climate Model. Global Planet Change 63:112–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tekinel O, Kanber R, Çetin M (2000) Development and use of water resources. 6. Technical Con. of the Chamber of Agr. Eng. Ankara (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  45. Tezcan L, Ekmekçi M, Atilla Ö, Gürkan D, Yalçınkaya O, Namkhai O, Soylu EM, Donma S, Yılmazer D, Akyatan A, Pelen N, Topaloğlu F, Irvem A (2007) Assesment of climate change impacts on water resources of Seyhan River Basin. The Research Project on the Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production System in Arid Areas. ICCAP Publication 10, pp 59–72, Kyoto, Japan.Google Scholar
  46. Ünlü M, Koç M, Barutçular C, Koç L, Kapur B, Tekin S, Kanber R (2007) Effects of Climate change on evapotranspiration, and crop growth under Çukurova Conditions, Turkey. ICCAP Workshop, Jan. 30–31, Kyoto, Japan.Google Scholar
  47. Watanabe T (2007) Summary of ICCAP: Framework, outcomes and implication of the project. The final report of ICCAP. The Research Project on the Impact of Climate Changes on Agricultural Production System in Arid Areas. ICCAP Publication 10, Kyoto, Japan, pp 1–14.Google Scholar
  48. World Tourist Organization (2010). Tourism Outlook 2010; at: (22 November 2010).
  49. WWF (2007) Drought: The subtle catastrophe on earth. Evaluation Report. Turkish WWF. Istanbul (in Turkish).Google Scholar
  50. Xoplaki E, Gonzalez-Rouco JF, Luterbacher J, Wanner H (2003) Mediterranean summer air temperature variability and its connection to the large-scale atmospheric circulation and SSTs. Climate Dynamics 20:723–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xoplaki E, González-Rouco JF, Luterbacher J, Wanner H (2004) Wet season Mediterranean precipitation variability: influence of large-scale dynamics and trends. Climate Dynamics 23:63–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rıza Kanber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mustafa Ünlü
    • 1
  • Burçak Kapur
    • 1
  • Bülent Özekici
    • 1
  • Sevgi Donma
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Structures and Irrigation EngineeringAdanaÇukurova University AdanaTurkey
  2. 2.Agricultural EngineerState Hydraulics WorksAdanaTurkey

Personalised recommendations