Irrigation has helped in increasing food production and achieving food security in India. However, climate change is expected to affect the crop production in irrigated area particularly in groundwater irrigated areas. This study was undertaken for suggesting strategies to climate change impact on irrigated crops based on projected change in crop water requirement and groundwater availability for irrigation in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Prevailing groundwater recharge in the study area during monsoon was 4.01 MCM (Million cubic meter). The same for various scenarios varied from -15.47 MCM to 5.08 MCM. It was revealed that groundwater recharge would increase if it is estimated based on the climate prediction done using local weather data. The impact of climate change on groundwater availability is evident in scenarios based on INCCA and IPCC predictions where it varied from -2.66 MCM to 1.02 MCM. Contrary to common perceptions, crop water requirement of prevailing cropping system would not increase in future if all the important climatic parameters are considered for its prediction. This may be due to the fact that effect of increase in temperature on crop water requirement may be compensated by decrease in other climatic parameters such wind speed and duration of daily sunshine hours. Results indicated that climate change may not have much impact on sustainability of prevailing cropping system as per the crop water requirement is concerned. Based on water requirement and groundwater availability under various climate change scenarios, appropriate strategies to cope up the climate change impact on irrigated crops have been suggested.
Coping strategies, Crop water requirement, Cropping system, Groundwater availability
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