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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Jul 2020

02 Jul 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Projection of irrigation water demand based on the simulation of synthetic crop coefficients and climate change

Michel Le Page1, Younes Fakir2,3, Lionel Jarlan1, Aaron Boone4, Brahim Berjamy5, Saïd Khabba2,3, and Mehrez Zribi1 Michel Le Page et al.
  • 1CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNRS/UPS/IRD/CNES/INRAE, 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, bpi 2801, 31401 Toulouse, CEDEX 9, France
  • 2Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
  • 3CRSA (Center for Remote Sensing Application), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Benguerir, Morocco
  • 4CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Meteo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 5ABHT, Agence du Bassin Hydraulique du Tensift, Marrakech, Morocco

Abstract. In a context of major changes (climate, demography, economy, etc.), the Southern Mediterranean area faces serious challenges with intrinsically low, irregular and continuously decreasing water resources. In some regions, the proper dynamic of irrigated areas is very important so that it is needed to include it in future scenarios. A method for estimating the future evolution of irrigation water requirements is proposed and tested in the Tensift watershed, Morocco. Monthly synthetic crop coefficients (Kc) of the different irrigated areas were obtained from a time series of remote sensing observations. An empirical model using the synthetic Kc and rainfall was developed and fitted to the actual data. The model appears to be reliable with an average r2 of 0.69 for the observation period (2000–2016). The sub sampling tests suggested that a loss of performance (r2 = 0.45) is to be expected for two time periods after the observations (2050). This flexible system of equations has been used to reinterpret a local water management plan and to incorporate two downscaled climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The examination of irrigation water requirements until 2050 revealed that the difference between the two climate scenarios was very small (< 2 %), while the two agricultural scenarios were strongly contrasted both spatially and in terms of their impact on water resources. The approach is generic and can be refined by incorporating irrigation efficiencies.

Michel Le Page et al.

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Michel Le Page et al.

Michel Le Page et al.


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Latest update: 12 Aug 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In the context of major changes, the Southern Mediterranean area faces serious challenges with low and continuously decreasing water resources mainly attributed to agricultural use. A method for projecting irrigation water demand under both anthropogenic and climatic changes is proposed. Time series of satellite imagery are used to determine a set of semi-empirical equations that can be easily adapted to different future scenarios.
In the context of major changes, the Southern Mediterranean area faces serious challenges with...