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April 21, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dr. Trevor Partridge, United States Geological Survey

Thursday, April 21, 2022 in BE 241/ Zoom, 4-5PM

Is Expanding Irrigation a Feasible Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for U.S. Agriculture?

Abstract: Irrigation can increase current crop yields, make marginal land suitable for production, and is often slated as a key climate change adaptation strategy. However, future water availability is uncertain and irrigated agriculture already accounts for the majority of total water use in the United States. It is critical to thoroughly weigh the costs and benefits associated with current and expanded irrigation to effectively prepare for the future.  Here we utilize a gridded biophysical crop model to explore the feasibility of both existing and expanded irrigation as a climate adaptation strategy for maize and soybean production in the United States. We examine both middle and end of the 21st-century conditions under 10 possible future climates composed of two emission trajectories (ssp245 and ssp585) and five GCMs that span the range of future projections (i.e., warm and wet, warm and dry, hot and wet, hot and dry futures). With a focus on groundwater, we weigh the adaptation potential of irrigation through combining estimated costs of irrigating with the expected increase in crop productivity, i.e., the relative yield difference between rainfed and fully irrigated simulations. Finally, we highlight areas where future irrigation could be both profitable and sustainable, as well as those areas that may not be well suited for irrigation, through comparing estimates of future water availability with the volume of irrigated water applied.

This Lecture is scheduled in a hybrid format. If you would like to join the zoom meeting please:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Password: 557922

The Van Tuyl lectures will be at 4-5pm in BE 241/ Zoom (hybrid format), and after the lecture there will be a get-together and questions from 5-6pm in BE 243 with pizza and sodas.


April 21, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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