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WATERWEB: Water Resource Strategies

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Drought and the National Irrigation Strategy

Client: Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management/ Water Directorate Project...

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Projects Drought and the National Irrigation Strategy
Drought and the National Irrigation Strategy PDF Print E-mail

altClient: Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management/ Water Directorate
Project Manager: Mile Božić, CE
Design Engineers: Goran Nikolić, CE; Dejan Milošev, CE; Sanja Kračunov, CE

At a global level, climate is expected to change in the coming years and, generally, result in elevated temperatures and reduced precipitation levels. This will lead to extreme events, such as droughts.

Irrigation is the safest way to fight drought because it can be used to control the soil water balance and create favorable conditions for high and, more importantly, stable agricultural output. Irrigation also allows for the modification of cropping patterns and the introduction of more profitable crops.

Based on the overall surface area under irrigation, Serbia lags behind most European countries. Of its 5.2 million hectares of farmland, only 30,000 ha (or barely 0.6%) has been irrigated during recent years.

Studies show that drought events occur in Serbia every three to five years. However, in 2000, an extended period of drought acquired disastrous proportions and considerably reduced staple-food crop yield, making a serious dent in the national economy.

In general, compared to favorable years, yields decline by 30-50% during dry years, or by 80-100% during extremely dry years.

The goal of this study (prepared at JCI in 2007) was to address the need, potential and conditions for the development of irrigation in Serbia.

The outcomes of the study include:

  • An in-depth evaluation of the drought regime and drought characteristics in Serbia;
  • An assessment of the impact of drought events on staple-food crop production and the national economy;
  • Identification of the extent, condition, use and performance of existing irrigation systems;
  • Identification of sources of irrigation funding;
  • A strategy for prioritized revitalization of existing irrigation systems, including recommended measures;
  • A definition of the basic elements of irrigation management (regulation, administration, maintenance, planning, implementation, and development);
  • Groundwork for a national irrigation strategy (including a timetable for the implementation of measures aimed at drought alleviation in the future).
Принос најважнијих ратарских култура у повољној (1991.) и сушној (2000.) години   Сушноа 2000. години Просечна 1961.-2005.
The yield of major crops in favorable (1991.) and dry (2000.) year Water deficit in the growing season (April-September)  Water deficit in the growing season (April-September)


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