Estimate the technical efficiency of grapevine production with respect to irrigation efficiency. Outline the environmental efficiency of water management and externalities from (mis)management of surface and groundwater resources.
The Province of Mendoza is located in a semi-arid region in the central-west of Argentina. Economic activity is concentrated in the artificial oasis and agricultural sector contributes with USD 130 million to the regional GDP, representing 7% of the total. The irrigation system reaches 268,000 ha, which represents 85 per cent of the arable land.
Above the Sub-Carrizal Basin, the coexistence of oil and agriculture industries increases pressure on natural resources with high risk of contamination from different characteristics. Mainly, increasing salinity levels.
Most of the agro industry in the region holds a link with wine production. The growing reputation of Argentinean wines led to the settlement of international firms, which improved the industry in terms of technology adoption and market orientation.
More dependent on economic framework and local markets, the small wine grape producers may be trapped in a declining spiral of water scarcity, production quality and profitability. Although, the public sector creates policies oriented to small-scale producers, most of them aim to solve urgent needs instead of other core issues as quality and technical efficiency.
Although, some stochastic efficiency analysis has been carried in the region; there is no evidence of technical efficiency (TE) analysis with this focus on agriculture production.
Following a stochastic frontier analysis approach, a TE analysis improve the economic understanding and explanation of the technical inefficiency in grapevine producers. Defining a suitable production function, a realistic level of TE is expected according to the producer’s farming and irrigation practices, human capital and policy tools. Regularly, deviations from this expected output are considered deterministically. However, the stochastic frontier approach analyses inefficiency considering two types of errors: random and stochastic.
Considering grapevines as the good output and environmental degradation as bad output, it is possible to define directional functions that will economically valuate the trade-offs of environmental and production effects from an efficient perspective. Main hypothesis is that technical and environmental efficiency are substantially different.
Primary data from the area, allowed multi-scale assessment of grapevine and water management practices. More than 1,200 grapevine plots from 360 farmers allow an extensive heterogeneity in crop management that reflects the technology adoption from producers and their irrigation practices.
Overall, a metafrontier reflects the TE levels at different groups of producers clustered according to their similarities. The TE value of the industry is relatively high with interesting heterogeneity within inner frontiers.
As a major outcome, this research project aims to provide reliable water efficiency estimations for designing policy instruments that address economic and environmental challenges focusing on the responsible use of natural resources. Furthermore, the directional distance functions approach is applicable as policy valuation tool for decision makers and as a cost internalization strategy for stakeholders. At the same time that facilitate the decision-making process for public policy on environmental adaptation and mitigation in affected area.
In the past three decades, Mexico and Turkey have made substantial reforms in their irrigation sectors. The irrigation reforms implemented in these two countries demonstrate similarities and are interrelated in three ways. First, both reforms involved a large-scale devolution of the operation and maintenance responsibility from governmental bodies to local water user organizations. Second, the World Bank has been the main proponent of the reforms in both countries and thereby played a significant role in the design of the reform elements through providing financial and technical assistance. Finally, the irrigation reform in Mexico inspired the reform in Turkey, partly due to the role of the World Bank, and therefore the accelerated irrigation management transfer programme, which was implemented in Turkey, had institutional features similar to those of the Mexican reform. Despite these similarities and interrelationships between the cases of Mexico and Turkey, there has been no comparative analysis of these two reforms. This paper aims to bring new insights into the factors that played a role during the design, implementation and evaluation of these two reforms. Specific attention is paid to the interactions among different types of actors, such as policy-makers, practitioners, experts and scientists, regarding the production and use of knowledge from technical and social sciences during the design, implementation and evaluation phases of the reforms. The insights from this comparative review improves the understanding on the factors that influence the implementation of irrigation reforms, which are relevant for the stakeholders that make efforts towards improving the effectiveness of irrigation policy and practice.
Availability of freshwater has always been a major concern for Abu Dhabi. The Emirate derives its water from two major sources: groundwater and desalination. Groundwater is the only renewable water source and accounts for 60 percent of the total supply. Less than 5 percent of the total water pumped is naturally recharged due to low recharge rates due to low and variable precipitation. As a result, groundwater levels are falling at alarming rates with serious implications for increased energy use in groundwater extraction with attendant deterioration in water quality.
Of the total water supply, 83 percent is utilized in meeting the demand for agricultural irrigation. There are 24000 agricultural farms in operation and the total cultivated area is approximately 70000 ha spread over three regions: northeast of Abu Dhabi, Western region and Al Ain (East). Farm size varies between 3 ha to 6 ha. Most farms are equipped with pressurized irrigation systems, and many of these have benefited from public subsidies for infrastructure. The application efficiency of these systems is affected by contextual design, operation, age, water source and system maintenance. Periodic audits of the efficiency of these irrigation systems is essential in order to enhance performance and to identify maintenance needs. The latter is of particular importance given that a majority of farms within the Emirate are maintained by immigrant farm laborers, with limited direct engagement of non-resident farm owners.
Indicators and assessments of irrigation performance were obtained through a questionnaire, as well as hands on measurement. Administered on 200 farms, chosen at random, the questionnaire incorporated elements related to farm management and crop mix choice, as well as more technical assessments of irrigation system assessment. Through an analysis of data obtained, we uncover avenues for improving the efficiency in application of irrigation water, as well as policy relevant recommendations on how to potentially rationalize the use of water in irrigation, through market based incentives, as well as greater efficacy in the provision of extension and advisory services.
Growing urban areas with historically strong landscaping industries face potential loss from extended drought periods. Outdoor water restrictions are a form of drought management and are temporarily employed during periods of drought to protect surface and groundwater supplies. An extended period of drought can put pressure on urban communities with generally high outdoor water use and water restriction-induced landscape mortality.
This study proposes an integrative irrigation technique that promotes efficient irrigation practices while optimally maintaining aesthetic landscapes by avoiding over-irrigation. The tool can be used for residential homes, commercial buildings, and urban water managers that may face water shortages.
A selection of 97 ornamental plants from Central Texas was subjected to four irrigation treatments to identify the highest and lowest drought survivability performance. The drought survivability study (DSS) was conducted in an outdoor demonstration site in San Antonio, TX. In this site, four independent plots were watered twice a week with the following irrigation treatments: 0%, 20%, 40% and 60% of evapotranspiration (ETo), measured from a local weather station. Volunteers collected weekly appearance and soil moisture data for 1567 plants to create a plant performance index based on the results of a four-month establishment period, 12-week drought treatment period, and a four-month recovery period. An objective and unbiased assessment of each plant used the following characteristics to gauge plant aesthetics: dead, defoliated, leaf drop, wilt, stable and lush. Significant differences among treatment means were made using Tukey’s HSD test at α=0.05.
The resulting plant performance index identified a robust selection of plants that remained stable or lush over a 12-week drought period with no supplemental irrigation, or 0% ETo, and a larger selection of plants when only 20% ETo irrigation was applied. Overall, there was a strong correlation between well-performing plants and adequate soil moisture levels. Most plants performed well at the 40% irrigation level and there was no statistical significance (p<0.05) between overall plant appearances in the 40% and 60% ETo irrigation treatments. This result suggests a potential for substantial water savings if consumers properly utilized ET-based irrigation treatments using local weather station data. When all irrigation treatments were turned off, a selection of plants was able to recover with a four-month recovery period with normal rainfall levels after the drought treatment period.
Discussion and Implications
An integrative irrigation approach should be considered for an effective drought management strategy while satisfying aesthetic landscaping needs. The study relied heavily on volunteer participation and benefitted from partnerships with local nurseries. It was sponsored by the utilities of the cities involved and included media coverage and communication outreach. Urban communities facing water scarcity issues could target outdoor water use from a community-wide approach. Involving key stakeholders such as urban water managers, landscaping industries and practitioners who can employ these strategies can create synergies while avoiding conflict. In this case, citizen science could be considered highly effective and readily translated into scientifically sound quantitative data.