Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030 (2019) / Chapter Skim
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6 Water-Use Efficiency and Productivity
Pages 129-144

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From page 129...
... Some arid regions (e.g., west Texas) have reached a tipping point with low aquifer storage unable to meet agricultural water demands, forcing the use of high-salinity groundwater (Uddameri and Reible, 2018)
From page 130...
... While irrigation practices have improved over the past several decades -- with shifts from flood to spray to pivot to drip irrigation that incrementally decrease water consumption -- water productivity and water-use efficiency are well below what is achievable. Further decreases in water use to promote more sustainable crop agriculture will require a combination of revolutionary new approaches, such as second-generation drip irrigation combined with sensors and data analytics, improved and regionally based weather and seasonal climate forecasts, plants engineered to be more water 1? Water-use efficiency is defined in this report in the hydrological context; it is the ratio of the volume of water used productively (Stanhill, 1986)
From page 131...
... There is also limited publicly available, spatially resolved data on water use for irrigated agriculture, such as total amounts pumped to and applied to crops.
From page 132...
... . In addition to precise use of water in agriculture, spatially resolved data on vegetative health, soil properties, nutrient concentrations, water quality parameters, and water quantity are needed to construct accurate prediction models for water-use efficiency.
From page 133...
... The ability to cost-effectively monitor water demand and manage water supply at high spatial and temporal resolutions presents an opportunity to improve water-use efficiency for crop agriculture. To accomplish this will require ubiquitous data collection and seamless integration of data types and analytics across vastly different temporal and spatial scales (e.g., the Global Agriculture Monitoring project [CGLAMR, 2018]
From page 134...
... 3.2? Soil and Plant Resiliency Water-use efficiency can be improved through better soil management practices and by engineering soil properties to maximize water availability to plants. Promising opportunities include manipulating the soil microbiome to improve water use by plants (especially under drought or salt stress conditions)
From page 135...
... These data along with soil moisture content and other measurements will help to deliver water only where it is required. 3.3? Controlled Environments and Alternative Water Sources Water-use efficiency can be improved by decentralizing parts of food production (e.g., fruits and vegetables)
From page 136...
... They need to provide depth-resolved soil moisture or nutrient levels to allow for more precise irrigation and nutrient applications. In planta sensors are needed to monitor plant health status with respect to water requirements, potentially at the scale of single plants.
From page 137...
... Systems biology approaches to modeling water flows in agroecosystems may provide new approaches to water management. While increasing soil carbon has the potential to improve water-use efficiency by lowering evaporation or drainage losses, the magnitude of the increases in water-use efficiency that this may provide is under debate.
From page 138...
... Alternative sources of water and controlled environments can improve water-use efficiency and water productivity. However, several research questions must be addressed to realize these opportunities: 1.
From page 139...
... It may also require significant upgrades to water infrastructure to meet future water demands for agriculture. Water storage practices, interbasin transfers, and water distribution systems are currently inadequate to meet future water demands for agriculture.
From page 140...
... 5.5? Lack of a Systems Approach A systems approach to water management is needed to mitigate the potential for unintended consequences to the natural ecosystem and built environments. Proposed interventions need to account for their impacts at large spatial scales (e.g., watershed, basin, or interbasin scales)
From page 141...
... Some high-priority opportunities for improving water-use efficiency include ? Increasing water-use efficiency by implementing multiple water saving technologies across integrated systems; ? Lowering water use through applications of prescriptive analytics for water management; ? Lowering water demands by improving plant and soil properties to increase water-use efficiency; and ? Increasing water productivity by use of controlled environments and alternative water sources. REFERENCES Barbosa, G
From page 142...
... 2013. Tapping unsustainable groundwater stores for agricultural production in the High Plains Aquifer of Kansas, projections to 2110.
From page 143...
... 2014. A critical review of the risks to water resources from unconventional shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing in the United States.


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