Type: Book

Improving water management in agriculture


Dr Jerry Knox is Professor of Agricultural Water Management based within the Water Science Institute at Cranfield University, UK. Professor Knox has an international reputation for his research on the science, engineering and management of water for agriculture, including assessing the relationships between water resources, drought, crop productivity and the environment, and the sustainability of irrigated production in the context of climate impacts and food security. His current research addressing water and climate risks is focussed in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. He is Editor of Outlook on Agriculture and Associate Editor for Irrigation Science.



Publication date:

Q1 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 considers ways of addressing this challenge. It reviews advances in monitoring and optimizing 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 encourages farmers to reassess their current irrigation models and implement alternative practices which improve efficiency with a reduced environmental impact.

Key features

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the interventions available to optimise water management in agriculture, including rainwater harvesting and farm reservoirs
  • Considers the development and application of alternative irrigation techniques which carry a reduced environmental impact, such as solar powered irrigation
  • Addresses the importance of diversification and collaboration in securing water resources for a rapidly growing population

Table of contents

Part 1 Water for agriculture: externalities, drivers for change and future demands
1.Introduction: improving water management in agriculture: Jerry Knox, Cranfield University, UK;
2.Forecasting future water use in agriculture: Upali Amarasinghe, IWMI, Sri Lanka;

Part 2 Managing water for agriculture: challenges and innovations
3.Advances in irrigation scheduling/decision support systems for irrigation management: Mladen Todorovic, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Italy;
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.Application of earth observation and remote sensing techniques in agricultural water management: Alfonso Calera Belmonte, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain;

Part 3 Implementing innovations in engineering and application technology
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 4 Securing water resources for agriculture: diversification and collaboration
9.Modelling watersheds to optimise water supplies for agriculture and other uses: Graham Jewitt, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands;
10.Advances in farmer-led irrigation development in Africa: Phil Woodhouse, University of Manchester, UK;
11.Promoting IWRM and multi-sector collaboration in water management: Steve Moncaster, Consultant, UK;
12.Improving water use in agriculture to reduce environmental impact: the irrigation efficiency paradox: Bruce Lankford, University of East Anglia, UK;
13.Developments in water sharing and water trading to secure supplies for agriculture: Sarah Wheeler, University of Adelaide, Australia;

Part 5 Reducing the environmental impacts of irrigation
14.The role of vegetative and riparian buffers for improving water management: Pippa Chapman, University of Leeds, UK;
15.Developments in the use of wastewater for crop cultivation: Tapas Biswas, CSIRO, Australia;
16.Managing climate change, droughts and water scarcity affecting agriculture: Ray-Shyan Wu, National Central University, Taiwan;
17.Water-energy-food nexus (WEF): Oscar Melo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile;