Implementation and Evaluation of Irrigation Techniques in the Community Land Model


Several previous studies have highlighted the irrigation-induced impacts on the global and regional water cycle, energy budget, and near-surface climate. While land models are widely used to address this question, the implementations of irrigation in these models vary in complexity. Here, we expand the representation of irrigation in Community Land Model to enable six different irrigation methods. We find that using a combination of irrigation methods, including default, sprinkler, flood and paddy techniques performs best as determined by evaluating the simulated irrigation water withdrawals against observations, and therefore select this combination as the new irrigation scheme. Then, the impact of the new irrigation scheme on surface fluxes is evaluated and detected using single-point simulations. Finally, the global and regional irrigation-induced impacts on surface energy and water fluxes are compared using both the original and the new irrigation scheme. The new irrigation scheme substantially reduces the bias and root-mean-square error of simulated irrigation water withdrawal in the USA and other countries, but considerably overestimates withdrawals in Central China. Results of single-point experiments show that different irrigation methods have different effects on surface fluxes, while the magnitudes are small. At the global scale, the new scheme enlarges the irrigation-induced impacts on water and energy variables relative to the original scheme, with varying magnitudes across regions. Overall, our results suggest that this newly developed scheme is a better tool for simulating irrigation-induced impacts on climate, and highlight the added value of incorporating human water management in Earth system models.

Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems