Climate change and the water cycle in newly irrigated areas

  • Raphael AbrahãoEmail author
  • Iker García-Garizábal
  • Daniel Merchán
  • Jesús Causapé


Climate change is affecting agriculture doubly: evapotranspiration is increasing due to increments in temperature while the availability of water resources is decreasing. Furthermore, irrigated areas are expanding worldwide. In this study, the dynamics of climate change impacts on the water cycle of a newly irrigated watershed are studied through the calculation of soil water balances. The study area was a 752-ha watershed located on the left side of the Ebro river valley, in Northeast Spain. The soil water balance procedures were carried out throughout 1827 consecutive days (5 years) of hydrological and agronomical monitoring in the study area. Daily data from two agroclimatic stations were used as well. Evaluation of the impact of climate change on the water cycle considered the creation of two future climate scenarios for comparison: 2070 decade with climate change and 2070 decade without climate change. The main indicators studied were precipitation, irrigation, reference evapotranspiration, actual evapotranspiration, drainage from the watershed, and irrigation losses. The aridity index was also applied. The results represent a baseline scenario in which adaptation measures may be included and tested to reduce the impacts of climate change in the studied area and other similar areas.


Crop adaptations Climate change Agricultural water management Environmental impacts Aridity index 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael Abrahão
    • 1
  • Iker García-Garizábal
    • 2
  • Daniel Merchán
    • 3
  • Jesús Causapé
    • 4
  1. 1.Universidade Federal da Paraíba (DEER/CEAR)João PessoaBrazil
  2. 2.PROMETEO, Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación - SENESCYTEscuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL)GuayaquilEcuador
  3. 3.Universidad de Zaragoza and IGMEZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Geological Survey of Spain (IGME)ZaragozaSpain

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