Johannes Deelstra

Senior Research Scientist

(+47) 926 99 501
johannes.deelstra@nibio.no

Place
Ås F20

Visiting address
Fredrik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås

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Abstract

Saving water in irrigated agriculture is a high priority in areas with scarce water resources and impacted by climate change. This paper presents results of measurements on water Productivity (WP) under alternative rice growing practices such as alternating wetting and drying,direct seeded rice, modified systems of rice intensification and conventional paddy rice (NI)in two selected districts (Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and Nalgonda in Telangana, India). Under alternative practices, the yields varied from 5.72 to 6.11 t/ha compared with 4.71 t/ha under paddy rice. The average water application varied from 991 to 1494 mm under alternative practices while average application in conventional paddy rice was 2242 mm. Higher yield and lower water application led to an increase in WP varying from 0.45 to 0.59 kg/m3 under alternative practices compared with 0.22 kg/m3 under conventional paddy rice. The measurements showed that less water can be used to produce more crop under alternative rice growing practices. The results are important for water-scarce areas, providing useful information to policy makers, farmers, agricultural departments and water management boards in devising future climate-smart adaptation and mitigation strategies.

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Abstract

Catchment scale hydrological models are promising tools for simulating the effect of catchment-specific processes and management on soil and water resources. Here, we present a model intercomparison study of runoff simulations using three different semi-distributed rainfall-runoff catchment models. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the applicability of the Hydrologiska Byrans Vattenavdelning (HBV-Light); Precipitation, Evapotranspiration and Runoff Simulator for Solute Transport (PERSiST); and INtegrated CAtchment (INCA) models on Somogybabod Catchment, near Lake Balaton, Hungary. The models were calibrated and validated against observed discharge data at the outlet of the catchment for the period of January 1, 2006 –July 12, 2015. Model performance was evaluated using graphical representations, e.g. daily and monthly hydrographs and Flow Duration Curves (FDC) and model evaluation statistic; Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and coefficient of determination (R2). The simulation results showed that the models provided good estimates of monthly average discharge (0.60–0.90 NSE; 0.60–0.91 R2) and satisfactory results for daily discharge (0.46–0.62 NSE; 0.50–0.67 R2). We found that the application of hydrological models serves as a powerful basis for ensemble modelling of average runoff and could enhance our understanding of the eco-hydrological and transport processes within catchments. On the other hand, it can highlight the uncertainty of model forecasts and the importance of goal specific evaluation.

Abstract

In Norway, and many other countries, subsurface drainage systems are a necessity to practice agriculture. Drainage systems, through control of the groundwater level, have a direct influence on the soil moisture content. To facilitate tillage practices and harvesting depending on soil type, the soil moisture content has to be at 80 – 90% of the field capacity in the top 20 cm of the soil profile. The main objective was to get information about the half time , i.e. the time required to reduce the runoff to 50% of the runoff at the onset of a recession period. The average half time for the small field scale catchments varied from 6 – 16 hours, indicating a fast drawdown of the water Level. The analysis of subsurface drainage is carried out as part of IRIDA, an EU/JPI funded project.

Abstract

The moisture status of the upper 10cm of the soil profile is a key variable for the prediction of a catchment's hydrological response to precipitation, and of pivotal importance to the estimation of trafficability. Prediction, and even mapping, of topsoil water content is complicated, not in the least because of its large spatial heterogeneity. In IRIDA, an EU/JPI project, measurements, models and weather predictions will be applied to estimate the soil moisture status at the sub-field scale in near-real time. The project is in its early stages, during which the relevant parameters will be selected that will allow for soil moisture mapping on agricultural fields at a 10 m resolution.

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Abstract

Crop growth and yield are affected by water use during the season: the green water footprint (WF) accounts for rain water, the blue WF for irrigation and the grey WF for diluting agri-chemicals. We calibrated crop yield for FAO’s water balance model “Aquacrop” at field level. We collected weather, soil and crop inputs for 45 locations for the period 1992–2012. Calibrated model runs were conducted for wheat, barley, grain maize, oilseed rape, potato and sugar beet. The WF of cereals could be up to 20 times larger than the WF of tuber and root crops; the largest share was attributed to the green WF. The green and blue WF compared favourably with global benchmark values (R2 = 0.64–0.80; d = 0.91–0.95). The variability in the WF of arable crops across different regions in Europe is mainly due to variability in crop yield (cv = 45%) and to a lesser extent to variability in crop water use (cv = 21%). The WF variability between countries (cv = 14%) is lower than the variability between seasons (cv = 22%) and between crops (cv = 46%). Though modelled yields increased up to 50% under sprinkler irrigation, the water footprint still increased between 1% and 25%. Confronted with drainage and runoff, the grey WF tended to overestimate the contribution of nitrogen to the surface and groundwater. The results showed that the water footprint provides a measurable indicator that may support European water governance.

Abstract

Knowledge of hydrological processes and water balance elements are important for climate adaptive water management as well as for introducing mitigation measures aiming to improve surface water quality. Mathematical models have the potential to estimate changes in hydrological processes under changing climatic or land use conditions. These models, indeed, need careful calibration and testing before being applied in decision making. The aim of this study was to compare the capability of five different hydrological models to predict the runoff and the soil water balance elements of a small catchment in Norway. The models were harmonised and calibrated against the same data set. In overall, a good agreement between the measured and simulated runoff was obtained for the different models when integrating the results over a week or longer periods. Model simulations indicate that forest appears to be very important for the water balance in the catchment, and that there is a lack of information on land use specific water balance elements. We concluded that joint application of hydrological models serves as a good background for ensemble modelling of water transport processes within a catchment and can highlight the uncertainty of models forecast.

Abstract

Water quality problems in Norway are caused mainly by high phosphorus (P) inputs from catchment areas. Multiple pollution sources contributes to P inputs into watercourses, and the two main sources in rural areas are agricultural runoff and discharge from on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs). To reduce these inputs, Constructed wetlands (CWs) treating catchment runoff have been implemented in Norway since early 1990s. These CWs have been proven effective as supplements to agricultural best management practices for water quality improvements and therefore there are more than 1000 CWs established in Norway at present. This study aims to present some overall data on the present status of CWs treating catchment runoff in Norway, and in particular recent results of source tracking and retention of sediments and total phosphorus (TP) in a model, full-scale, long-term operated CW, which in practice treats runoff from a typical rural catchment with pollution from both point and diffuse sources. Nutrient contributions from agricultural runoff and OWTSs have been quantified in eight catchments, while the source tracking and retention of sediments and P has been studied in the model CW. P runoff in the catchments was largely affected by precipitation and runoff situation, and varied both throughout the year (every single year) and from one year to another. Annual TP contribution that origins from OWTSs was in general limited, and only 1 % in the catchment of the model CW. Monthly contribution, however, was higher than 30 % during warm/dry season, and cold months with frost season. For the purpose of source tracking study, faecal indicator bacteria (reported in terms of Escherichia coli - E. coli) and host-specific 16S rRNA gene markers Bacteroidales have been applied. High E.coli concentrations were well associated with high TP inputs into waterbodies during dry or/and cold season with little or no agriculture runoff, and further microbial source tracking (MST) tests proved human contribution. There are considerable variations in retention of sediments and TP in the CW between the years, and the annual yearly retention was about 38 % and 16 %, respectively. During the study period, the average monthly retention of sediments and TP was 54 % and 32 %, respectively. E. coli concentrations were also reduced in water passing the CW. The study confirmed that runoff from agricultural areas is the main P source in watercourses, however, discharges from OWTS can also be of great importance for the water quality, especially during warm/dry- and cold/frosty periods. Small CWs treating catchment runoff contribute substantially to the reduction of sediments, TP and faecal indicator bacteria transport into water recipients.

Abstract

Video: How should India and other countries adapt their agricultural practices to a changing climate? In a new film, researchers explain how they go about in the ClimaAdapt project when developing new rice growing technologies and undertaking capacity building of farmers.

Abstract

Agriculture contributes a significant portion of the nutrient supply to the environment, being to a large degree responsible for the eutrophication of inland waters and coastal zones. Agricultural practices, climatic conditions, topography and geological conditions are important factors in determining these losses. However, also hydrological flow processes and pathways play an important role in the nutrient and soil loss processes. This chapter presents the results of a comparison of the hydrology in three catchments, two of which are located in Norway and one in Poland.

Abstract

Nutrient losses from agricultural catchments in Norway have been monitored since 1992 as part of the Norwegian Agricultural Environmental Monitoring Programme (JOVA). The catchments are at locations which are chosen to represent typical Norwegian agricultural systems such as the production of cereals, grass/livestock and vegetables. Losses are reported annually.

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Abstract

This paper discusses the monitoring network for diffuse pollution from agriculture in Estonia in the context of implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Nitrate Directive (ND). Seven surface water monitoring stations in agricultural catchments represent two out of three river basin districts designated in Estonia according to the WFD criteria. The national monitoring programme of ground water quality involves 516 stations of which about half were monitored in 2005. The monitoring sites cover all main ground water bodies in Estonia but are largely concentrated in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ). Analyses did not reveal any significant trends in total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in studied rivers during the last 15 years except in one site. The ground water quality stabilised after decrease of nitrate concentrations in the early 1990s, especially in the south part of the NVZ, but even in 2005 the nitrate concentration exceeded 50 mg l1 in 42 out of 145 ground water samples in this region. The existing surface water quality monitoring network provides only restricted information to select between different management options when implementing action programmes for the NVZ and the river basin management plans (RBMP) under the WFD.