Coupled irrigation-system/groundwater flow modelling for groundwater resource assessment in agricultural areas: a case study in northern Italy

Gabriele Oberto (a), Yu Li (b), Luca Alberti (a), Rodolfo Soncini-Sessa (c) & Loris Colombo (a)
(a) Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, Italy. (b) ETH Zurich, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 15, Zurich, Switzerland. (c) Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, Italy. Corresponding author e-mail:

DOI:         Pages: 94-100


Water resources sustainable management will be one of the major issues that need to be attempted globally in the next decades. Especially south of the Alps, climate projections suggest a strong impact on water resources availability and distribution in space and time. Agriculture would be the most sensitive sector to changing water availability: under warmer climate, crops would be more water-demanding to sustain the evapotranspiration during the growing season. The integrated use of ground- and surface water resources will have a key role in mitigating climate change impact. With the final aim of exploring such possibility, an irrigation-system model (IdrAgra) was coupled with a groundwater flow model (MODFLOW2000), applying it to an area including a portion of the Muzza-Bassa Lodigiana irrigation district in Lombardy. Downscaled projected meteorological data (2080-2099) were applied to the coupled model to estimate changes in the resource availability under climate change scenarios. Results would represent the starting point for the implementation of alternative integrated water resource management policies in agricultural environment.


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