Effects of agricultural water management systems on greenhouse gas emissions in eastern Canada

Authors: Ganem Cuenca, E, C Madramootoo
Description: Irrigation and drainage are necessary in Eastern Canada, where supplemental irrigation and artificial subsurface drainage is oftentimes required for the production of high value horticultural crops. While these water management practices are essential for crop production, particularly for tender fruit and vegetables, there is minimum information on how irrigation and controlled drainage influences greenhouse gas (GHG) production and emissions. This uncertainty presents economic risks to agricultural producers, and environmental risks to habitats and ecosystems. The principal objective of this research is to ascertain the effects of different irrigation and drainage practices on N20, C02 and CH4 emissions, and C sequestration, on mineral and organic soils. The project will be conducted through field measurements at sites in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario. Sites will comprise combinations of surface drainage, subsurface drainage, and sprinkler, surface drip, and subsurface drip irrigation and subirrigation. Soil surface GHG fluxes will be collected by a non-flow-through non-steady-state chamber method. The N2O, CO2, and CH4 concentrations in the samples will be analyzed on a gas chromatograph. GHG mitigation technologies will be tested and evaluated at the same sites, and socio-economic studies will evaluate cost effective measures for crop producers. The technologies and BMPs developed will be evaluated for their ease of implementation through roundtable discussions, surveys and interviews with agricultural producers. Seasonal agricultural GHG emission measurements will be further evaluated using statistical analysis software and computer modelling. A collaborative approach between agricultural producers, researchers and all stakeholders promotes the development of regional, national and international knowledge networks.
Keywords: irrigation, drainage, greenhouse gas, mitigation, climate change
Technical field: technical_fields_app7
Session name: Soil and water
Date: 2012
Identifier: CSBE12124
Coverage: Canada

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