Water Control Engineering for Agriculture and Food Security
Professor Chandra Madramootoo, McGill University, CEE Visiting Professor, J-WAFS Visiting Scholar
The demand for food will double over the next 25 years, and with the continuing loss of fertile, arable lands and limited supplies of freshwater for irrigation, this will place enormous pressures on our current food production systems. The situation is expected to exacerbate under climate change and the possibility of more frequent droughts in the arid and semi-arid tropics. One consequence of climate change is that in some irrigation schemes, there is no longer sufficient water for two cropping seasons per year. Cropping intensities are now lower. Additionally, in many of the large irrigated basins of the world, irrigation efficiencies are less than 40%, and water distribution within Canal Command Areas is improperly controlled, leading to inequality and conflicts amongst irrigators. The quality of drainage water in irrigated lands is also of much environmental concern given the growing problems of eutrophication and salinity.
The Seminar will discuss the above issues in more detail with reference to some irrigated basins in Canada, Central Asia, Egypt, India and Pakistan. Solutions such as Precision Irrigation, Drainage Water Control and Reuse, Water Conservation Engineering, and improvements in canal delivery systems, and on-farm water management will be presented.