Publication Abstracts

Strzepek et al. 1999

Strzepek, K.M., D.C. Major, C. Rosenzweig, A. Iglesias, D.N. Yates, A. Holt, and D. Hillel, 1999: New methods of modeling water availability for agriculture under climate change: The U.S. Cornbelt. J. Amer. Water Resour. Assoc., 35, 1639-1655, doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.1999.tb04242.x.

This paper reports on new methods of linking climate change scenarios with hydrologic, agricultural an water planning models to study future water availability for agriculture, an essential element of sustainability. The study is based on the integration of models of water supply and demand, and of crop growth and irrigation management. Consistent modeling assumptions, available databases, and scenario simulations are used to capture a range of possible future conditions. The linked models include WATBAL for water supply; CERES, SOYGRO, and CROPWAT for crop and irrigation modeling; and WEAP for water demand forecasting, planning and evaluation. These models are applied to the U.S. Cornbelt using forecasts of climate change, agricultural production, population and GDP growth.

Results suggest that, at least in the near term, the relative abundance of water for agriculture can be maintained under climate change conditions. However, increased water demands from urban growth, increases in reservoir evaporation and increases in crop consumptive use must be accommodated by timely improvements in crop, irrigation and drainage technology, water management, and institutions. These improvements are likely to require substantial resources and expertise. In the highly irrigated basins of the region, irrigation demand greatly exceeds industrial and municipal demands. When improvements in irrigation efficiency are tested, these basins respond by reducing demand and lessening environmental stress with an improvement in system reliability, effects particularly evident under a high technology scenario. Rain-fed lands in the Cornbelt are not forced to invest in irrigation, but there is some concern about increased water-logging during the spring and consequent required increased investment in agricultural drainage. One major water region in the Cornbelt also provides a useful caveat: change will not necessarily be continuous and monotonic. Under one GCM scenario for the 2010s, the region shows a significant decrease in system reliability, while the scenario for the 2020s shows an increase.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Strzepek, K. M. and Major, D. C. and Rosenzweig, C. and Iglesias, A. and Yates, D. N. and Holt, A. and Hillel, D.},
  title={New methods of modeling water availability for agriculture under climate change: The U.S. Cornbelt},
  journal={J. Amer. Water Resour. Assoc.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - st00710f
AU  - Strzepek, K. M.
AU  - Major, D. C.
AU  - Rosenzweig, C.
AU  - Iglesias, A.
AU  - Yates, D. N.
AU  - Holt, A.
AU  - Hillel, D.
PY  - 1999
TI  - New methods of modeling water availability for agriculture under climate change: The U.S. Cornbelt
JA  - J. Amer. Water Resour. Assoc.
VL  - 35
SP  - 1639
EP  - 1655
DO  - 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1999.tb04242.x
ER  -

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