Fields of operation

Irrigation and Agriculture

We deliver results for the sustainable use of water resources within the agriculture sector:

  • Agrohydrology
  • Water resources and irrigation
  • Development and design of (multipurpose) irrigation schemes
  • Climate resilience of irrigation schemes
  • Wastewater reuse for irrigation purposes
  • Irrigation water efficiency
  • Economic analysis of irrigation schemes
  • Environmental and social impacts of irrigation schemes

Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of the world’s available freshwater. More than two-thirds of water withdrawals from rivers, lakes and aquifers are used for agriculture. Within the next decades, the global water demand for agriculture is estimated to increase by other twenty per cent due to irrigational needs. Consequently, societies will face significant challenges where the further expansion of irrigation will be possible in the future and how this could take place as competition, conflicts, shortages, waste, overuse, and degradation of water resources grow. Also, in the coming years, climate change will bring enormous and partially unpredictable changes in the availability of water resources. Agriculture is not only the world’s largest water user in terms of volume, but it is often also a low-efficiency water user. Worldwide, as much as sixty per cent of the water diverted or pumped for irrigation is lost. Although some of these losses cannot be avoided, in many cases excess water seeps back into the ground, causing severe problems such as waterlogging and salinity.

Martin Edthofer

Phone: +43 1 996 98 00

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