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
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.
KeywordsClimate 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.
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