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Title: A modeling study of irrigation effects on global surface water and groundwater resources under a changing climate

In this paper, the effects of irrigation on global surface water (SW) and groundwater (GW) resources are investigated by performing simulations using Community Land Model 4.0 (CLM4) at 0.5-degree resolution driven by downscaled/bias-corrected historical simulations and future projections from five General Circulation Models (GCMs) for 1950-2099. For each climate scenario, three sets of numerical experiments were configured: (1) a control experiment (CTRL) in which all crops are assumed to be rainfed; (2) an irrigation experiment (IRRIG) in which the irrigation module using only SW for irrigation is activated; and (3) a groundwater pumping experiment (PUMP) in which a groundwater pumping scheme coupled with the irrigation module is activated for conjunctive use of SW and GW for irrigation. The parameters associated with irrigation and groundwater pumping are calibrated based on a global inventory of census-based SW and GW use compiled by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Our results suggest that irrigation could lead to two major opposing effects: SW depletion/GW accumulation in regions with irrigation primarily fed by SW, and SW accumulation/GW depletion in regions with irrigation fed primarily by GW. Furthermore, irrigation depending primarily on SW tends to have larger impacts on low-flow than high-flow conditions, suggesting the potentialmore » to increase vulnerability to drought. By the end of the 21st century (2070-2099), climate change significantly increases (relative to 1971-2000) irrigation water demand across the world. Combined with the increased temporal-spatial variability of water supply, this may lead to severe issues of local water scarcity for irrigation. Regionally, irrigation has the potential to aggravate/alleviate climate-induced changes of SW/GW although such effects are negligible when averaged globally. Our results emphasize the importance of accounting for irrigation effects and irrigation sources in regional climate change impact assessment.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466; KP1703020
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RLO1830; 41425002; 2012CB955403
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; irrigation; groundwater pumping; surface water/groundwater; global; CLM
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1229961