An indicator defined as a function of the total water diversion through the Coleambally canal and the potential irrigation demand is selected to represent the sustainability of the irrigation water system in the Coleambally irrigation area, Australia. A simulation procedure using a system dynamics approach was developed to evaluate the indicator. The procedure includes water diversion assessment, potential crop water demand and total gross margin. Three cases of water supply options (surface water, ground water pumping and water trading), two cases of changes in the total agricultural area and three cropping pattern scenarios were simulated to better understand their impact on sustainability. The simulated results indicate that increasing the agricultural area reduces the sustainability of the irrigation system because the demand of water increased despite increase in the gross margin. The scenarios show that imposed water trading and ground water pumping would considerably increase the supply system having a positive impact on the sustainability. The paper concludes that a multi-objective sustainability indicator taking account of economic and environmental issues could be more useful.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Natural Resource Modelling|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|