Including farmer irrigation behavior in a socio‐hydrological modelling framework with application in north India

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Title: Including farmer irrigation behavior in a socio‐hydrological modelling framework with application in north India
Authors: O'Keeffe, J
Moulds, S
Bergin, E
Brozovic, N
Mijic, A
Buytaert, W
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Understanding water user behavior and its potential outcomes is important for the development of suitable water resource management options. Computational models are commonly used to assist water resource management decision making; however, while natural processes are increasingly well modeled, the inclusion of human behavior has lagged behind. Improved representation of irrigation water user behavior within models can provide more accurate and relevant information for irrigation management in the agricultural sector. This paper outlines a model that conceptualizes and proceduralizes observed farmer irrigation practices, highlighting impacts and interactions between the environment and behavior. It is developed using a bottom‐up approach, informed through field experience and farmer interaction in the state of Uttar Pradesh, northern India. Observed processes and dynamics were translated into parsimonious algorithms, which represent field conditions and provide a tool for policy analysis and water management. The modeling framework is applied to four districts in Uttar Pradesh and used to evaluate the potential impact of changes in climate and irrigation behavior on water resources and farmer livelihood. Results suggest changes in water user behavior could have a greater impact on water resources, crop yields, and farmer income than changes in future climate. In addition, increased abstraction may be sustainable but its viability varies across the study region. By simulating the feedbacks and interactions between the behavior of water users, irrigation officials and agricultural practices, this work highlights the importance of directly including water user behavior in policy making and operational tools to achieve water and livelihood security. Publication cover image Early View Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue This article also appears in: Socio-hydrology: Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Coupled Human-Water Systems
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2018
Date of Acceptance: 11-Jun-2018
ISSN: 0043-1397
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Start Page: 4849
End Page: 4866
Journal / Book Title: Water Resources Research
Volume: 54
Issue: 7
Copyright Statement: ©2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/I022558/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Water Resources
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
water security
Environmental Engineering
0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
1402 Applied Economics
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Online Publication Date: 2018-06-19
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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