Type: Book

Improving water management in agriculture Irrigation and food production


Dr Jerry W. Knox is based within the Centre for Water, Environment and Development at Cranfield University, UK. As Professor of Agricultural Water Management, Jerry has an international reputation in the science, engineering and management of water for agriculture, including assessing the relationships between water resources, crop productivity and the environment, and the sustainability of agricultural production in the context of a changing climate. His research interests are in biophysical and water resource modelling, irrigation agronomy, soil and irrigation management, abiotic (drought) impacts on crop productivity and climate impacts and adaptation responses in agriculture. He was previously Editor for Outlook on Agriculture and Associate Editor for Irrigation Science.



Publication date:

28 May 2024

Length of book:

400 pages

ISBN-13: 9781801462747

Hardback - £150.00
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Irrigated agriculture accounts for around 70% of global water use. However, an estimated 60% of irrigated cropland remains highly water-stressed, a problem intensified by the effects of climate change.

Improving water management in agriculture: Irrigation and food production considers ways of addressing this challenge. It reviews advances in monitoring and optimising irrigation efficiency, ways of retaining and re-using water resources as well as how farmers can work collaboratively with other stakeholders to manage watersheds more sustainably.

The book highlights key areas where innovation is required to ensure that water use is optimised at farm and watershed scales. The book also encourages farmers to reassess their current irrigation models and implement alternative practices which improve efficiency with a reduced environmental impact.

What others are saying...

“The book does exceptionally well in linking the myriad of issues which are relevant to agricultural water management, covering biophysical and engineering aspects together with socioeconomics. In doing this, the editor and the book’s contributing authors have presented an excellent state of the art analysis of irrigation and food production on an international level.” (Professor Elías Fereres, University of Cordoba and IAS-CSIC, Spain)

Table of contents

Part 1 Current and future water demands for agriculture

  • 1. Introduction: improving water management in agriculture: Jerry Knox, Cranfield University, UK;
  • 2. Monitoring agricultural water use, data challenges and potential solutions for sustainable water management: Tim Foster, University of Manchester, UK;
  • 3. Forecasting future water use in agriculture: Upali Amarasinghe, IWMI, Sri Lanka;

Part 2 Improving agricultural water management practices

  • 4. Agronomic practices to optimise soil water retention: Stephen Anderson, University of Missouri, USA;
  • 5. Advances in drainage design and management for irrigated agriculture: Henk Ritzema, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
  • 6. Tracking plant water abiotic stresses and signalling for irrigated horticulture: Ian C. Dodd, Lancaster University, UK;
  • 7. Managing energy demands in irrigated agriculture: Juan Rodriguez-Diaz, University of Cordoba, Spain;
  • 8. Solar powered irrigation: current developments and future uptake: Muhammed Arif Watto, University of Agriculture - Faisalabad, Pakistan;

Part 3 Improving water resources allocation and management

  • 9. Advances in farmer-led irrigation development in Africa: Philip Woodhouse, University of Manchester, UK;
  • 10. Improving water use in agriculture to reduce environmental impact: the irrigation efficiency paradox: Bruce Lankford, University of East Anglia, UK;
  • 11. Developments in water sharing and water trading to secure supplies for agriculture: Sarah Wheeler, University of Adelaide, Australia;
  • 12. Irrigation modernization in India: Martin Burton, Independent Consultant, UK;

Part 4 Addressing future water and climate risks

  • 13. PRECIMED: development of a DSS for precision irrigation in Mediterranean agriculture: Maria Fernanda Ortuno Gallud, Spanish National Research Council, Spain;
  • 14. Integrating biophysical and ballistic models to assess the agronomic and environmental impacts of precision irrigation: Andre Daccache, University of California-Davis, USA;
  • 15. Managing climate change, droughts and water scarcity affecting agriculture: Ray-Shyan Wu, National Central University, Taiwan;
  • 16. Water-energy-food nexus (WEF): Oscar Melo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile;