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How is climate change affecting the water requirement of agricultural crops and water availability for irrigation across Europe?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: CLIM 033
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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Key messages

(29 Jul 2014)

  • Model-based estimates suggest that the volume of water required for irrigation during the period from 1975 to 2010 has increased in the Iberian Peninsula and Italy whereas it has decreased in parts of south-eastern Europe.
  • For high emissions scenarios, increases in irrigation demand of more than 25% during the 21st century are projected for most irrigated regions in Europe.
  • The impact of increasing water requirements is expected to be most acute in southern Europe, where the suitability for rain-fed agriculture is projected to decrease and irrigation requirements are projected to increase most.

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