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Evaluation of soil hydraulic properties and their relation to agricultural water use efficiency in scenarios from Brazil and New Zealand

Abstract

This cooperation proposal between teams from Brazil and New Zealand builds on a research project supported by Fapesp in Brazil (project 2018/20902-2) since March 2019, specifically on its 2nd objective, which is to interpret resulting hydraulic properties in the context of water availability limits of soils. Soil hydraulic properties allow quantifying characteristic water conditions by interpretation of the corresponding dynamic processes. Irrigated agriculture can benefit from resulting improved threshold values for water supply, improving water use efficiency and reducing environmental pressure. The cooperation between Brazilian and New Zealand partners will broaden the scope and applicability of research results already being obtained in Brazil, converging the expertise on both sides. Scenarios from New Zealand will be added to those from Brazil and simulated using the SWAP hydrological model. Results will then be analysed using a novel focus including the analysis of water saving strategies and water footprint assessment. To perform simulations, climate and crop management data will be assessed using locally available information. The activities include two research missions from both sides, aiming the joint development of modelling scenarios, assessment of necessary input data and discussion and reporting of results. Specific workshops (mini-courses) focusing on students at both sides are also planned, as well as short visits to agricultural activities in both countries/regions. Planned exchange activities will benefit both teams, the ongoing research project funded by FAPESP in Brazil and the research activities focussed by the New Zealand partner. Cooperation will benefit both sides by strengthening contacts and creating opportunities for students. A follow-up joint research proposal will be elaborated during the period of execution on the theme of water use efficiency, water availability and optimizing agricultural production from an environmental point of view, including the assessment of soil hydraulic properties, the improvement of drought stress prediction and new ways to assess water availability and scarcity. (AU)

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