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Impacts of climate change on agricultural water management: a review

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This study provides an overview on the impacts of climate change on agricultural water management, including agricultural water requirement, water availability and water quality, and the transition of those impacts to crop yield, agricultural land suitability and livestock production systems, considering both long‐term trends of climate and extreme climatic events. A synthesis of findings from local, regional, and global studies guides this article's discussion of scientifically based information, implications for managing the risk of water scarcity and food insecurity, and future research. Negative and positive climate change impacts occurring at the local scale may counteract each other at the global scale (e.g., those on irrigation requirement and arable land availability); the impacts from the various factors can be counter‐balanced too (e.g., CO2 and water deficit impact on crop yield). Meanwhile, the shocks at the local and regional levels have been or will be caused by water quantity and quality problems and are pressing concerns for decision making. Although uncertainty in climate change predictions remains a critical issue for decision making, certain knowledge about the impact on crop production has been obtained from historical data. Finally, future research needs to focus on gaining a more detailed understanding of climate change (especially extreme events), climate change impacts, both natural and social response mechanisms, and adaptation measures of agricultural water management. More focus should be laid on improving impact assessment via the various methods such as retrospective analysis, monitoring, prediction, and strategic risk management. Moreover, planned adaptations in agricultural water management will be needed to facilitate more consistent and more effective responses to climate change, with consideration of the linkage with nonagricultural water uses. WIREs Water 2015, 2:439–455. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1089 This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Planning Water Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change
A framework to assess climate change impacts on water quantity and quality and agricultural production systems.
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(a) Irrigation requirement changes for irrigated areas and (b) water deficit changes for rainfed areas of 26 crops between 2070–2099 and 1961–1990 under A1B‐SAM scenario (average over 12 GCMs results). (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons)
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Main agricultural water management systems that climate change is expected to impact. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2011 Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations)
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Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change

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