Ecohydrological modelling - devising strategies for sustainable agricultural water management in the Hindon basin

Project: PhD

Project Details


Within India’s densely populated Hindon river basin, water demand for irrigation has increased considerably during the last century. Overexploitation of water resources for irrigation of water-intensive agricultural crops has resulted in a strong reduction or complete lack of streamflow outside the Monsoon season, reduced groundwater levels, and the regular occurrence of drought. The land-use pattern data shows that 76% of the land is utilized for agriculture. Agriculture in the Hindon basin is characterized by the main crop, water-intensive sugarcane. This study first explores the irrigation water-saving potential for the current planting system using regulated deficit irrigation via surface and sub-surface drip irrigation. Field experimental data will be collected to calibrate and validate the SWAP-WOFOST model, and to improve water use efficiency and water productivity for current and future scenarios. Due to climate change in the future, the yield safety and sustainable utilization of water will be affected. Furthermore, the Study will evaluate the potential of applying more sustainable agricultural cropping methods on agricultural yield, food diversity, economic revenue, environmental impact, and climate resilience. Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers is a root cause of pollution in the Basin. Fundamental research will create accurate and relevant modeling approaches regarding the optimum use of water, pesticides, and fertilizers. The levels of inputs of water, fertilizers, and pesticides and the resulting productivity, profitability, and environmental impact of these activities will be quantified. Alternative agricultural management options to improve water use efficiency and reduce emissions of nutrients and pesticides will be identified.
Effective start/end date1/07/22 → …


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