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Seif-Ennasr M.,University Ibn Zohr | Zaaboul R.,International Center for Biosaline Agriculture | Hirich A.,International Center for Biosaline Agriculture | Caroletti G.N.,International Center for Biosaline Agriculture | And 6 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

This study evaluates the effect on the availability of water resources for agriculture of expected future changes in precipitation and temperature distributions in north-western Africa. It also puts forward some locally derived adaptation strategies to climate change that can have a positive impact on water resources in the Chtouka Aït Baha region. Historical baselines of precipitation and temperature were derived using satellite data respectively from CHIRPS and CRU, while future projections of temperature and precipitation were extracted from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment database (CORDEX). Projections were also generated for two future periods (2030–2049 and 2080–2099) under two Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Regional climate models and satellite data outputs were evaluated by calculating their bias and RMSE against historical baseline and observed data. Under the RCP8.5 scenario, temperature in the region shows an increase by 2 °C for the 2030–2049 time period, and by 4 to 5 °C towards the end of the 21st century. According to the RCP4.5 scenario, precipitation shows a reduction of 10 to 30% for the period 2030–2049, up to 60% for 2080–2099. Outputs from the climate change projections were used to force the HEC-HMS hydrological model. Simulation results indicate that water deficit at basin level will likely triple towards 2050 due to increase in water demand and decrease in aquifer recharge and dam storage. This alarming situation, in a country that already suffers from water insecurity, emphasizes the need for more efforts to implement climate change adaptation measures. This paper presents an assessment of 38 climate change adaptation measures according to several criteria. The evaluation shows that measures affecting the management of water resources have the highest benefit-to-efforts ratio, which indicates that decision makers and stakeholders should increasingly focus their efforts on management measures. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jacobsen S.-E.,Copenhagen University
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science | Year: 2014

Supplying organic matter under deficit irrigation conditions could be a practical solution to compensate the negative effect of water stress. For this purpose, studies in pea as a legume and quinoa as a new drought-tolerant crop were conducted in the south of Morocco between October 2011 and March 2012. Three organic matter levels (0, 5 and 10 t ha-1) were supplied as compost amendment combined with 2 irrigation levels (50 and 100% of full irrigation). The results indicate that stomatal conductance and dry matter have been affected significantly (P < 0.05) only by deficit irrigation, while harvested yield was affected significantly (P < 0.05) by both deficit irrigation and organic manure. The highest seed yields (3.3 t ha-1 for quinoa and 5.6 t ha-1 for pea) were recorded under full irrigation and 10 t ha-1 of compost. Results indicated that organic amendment of 10 t ha-1 and 5 t ha-1 significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased seed yield by 18 and 11% under stress conditions and by 13 and 3% under full irrigation for quinoa and by 24 and 11% under full irrigation and by 41 and 25% under water-deficit irrigation for pea. It can be concluded that organic amendment improved significantly yield and biomass production better under deficit irrigation conditions than under full irrigation. Combining deficit irrigation and organic amendment led to the maximization of crop water productivity. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jacobsen S.-E.,Copenhagen University
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2014

One of the most important factors that limits crop production is the availability of water. Deficit irrigation is the most important irrigation strategy to increase water use efficiency and crop water productivity. Organic amendment combined with deficit irrigation can be practical solution to compensate the negative effect of water deficit through the improvement of soil water-holding capacity. This research was conducted in the south of Morocco (IAV-CHA, Agadir) between October 2011 and January 2012. The mean objective of this study was to evaluate the combined effect of organic matter and deficit irrigation with treated wastewater on quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) productivity. Three organic matter levels (0, 5, and 10 t ha-1) have been supplied as compost amendment combined with two deficit irrigation levels (50 and 100% of full irrigation). Statistical analysis revealed very highly significant difference only between deficit irrigation treatments for most measured parameters. However, significant difference was obtained between organic matter treatments in terms of grain yield. The highest grain yield (66.3 g plant-1) has been recorded when quinoa was subjected to full irrigation and received 10 t ha-1 of compost; however, the lowest yields were obtained by treatments receiving 50% of full irrigation without organic matter supply. From the findings, it can be concluded that reducing irrigation requirement by half affected negatively quinoa growth and productivity and reduced grain yield by 36%, organic amendment improved significantly yield and biomass production better under deficit irrigation conditions. © 2013 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2014

Recently, water crisis has become one of the most significant problems in the world especially in the Mediterranean region. A field research was carried out in the south of Morocco in order to evaluate the effect of deficit irrigation with treated wastewater applied during vegetative growth stage on biomass production and crop water productivity of faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Six deficit irrigation treatments were tested: 100, 75, 50, 25, and 0% of full irrigation and rainfed treatment. The effect of deficit irrigation on growth parameters, yield and its mean components and crop water productivity was evaluated. Deficit irrigation significantly affected crop growth and all yield components considered in this study. The finding of the research evidently indicated that under deficit irrigation applied during vegetative growth using half of required water supply, the yield production and water productivity were higher than where full irrigation was provided (+4% for yield and + 24% for crop water productivity), and nearly, 17% of whole volume of applied water has been saved. © 2013 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Omari H.E.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jacobsen S.-E.,Copenhagen University | Lamaddalena N.,Mediterranean Agronomic Institute | And 4 more authors.
Australian Journal of Crop Science | Year: 2014

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is the third most important food legume grown in the world and a favourite food crop in Morocco. Morocco is a semi-arid country with limited fresh water resources. In order to meet the food demand, increasing attention is being given to the use of non-conventional water resources such as saline/brackish water and treated waste water for irrigation. With this in mind, an experiment was conducted in the south of Morocco to investigate the effect of irrigation with saline water on a local variety of chickpea. Irrigation with water of different salinity levels was carried out on pot experiments. Differences in water uptake and plant growth; as well as proline, soluble sugar, and Na+ and K+ contents of the plant were quantified. The results showed a negative relationship between increasing water salinity and most of the measured plant growth parameters. Irrigation water salinity has negatively affected growth and biomass accumulation and led to reduced grain yield, water uptake and water productivity. In contrast, proline, soluble sugars, Na+ and Na+: K+ ratio increased with increasing irrigation water salinity. The findings highlighted the role of proline and soluble sugars as osmolytes produced by chickpea to mitigate the effect of salinity stress. The added value of these results is that the crop's responses to salinity are quantified. The obtained values can be used to determine 'threshold values'; should the salinity of the irrigation water go above these threshold values one may expect the crop yield parameters to be affected. The quantified responses also indicate the rate of change of yield parameters in response to the irrigation water salinity level. This could help in avoiding significant yield reduction when deciding on the irrigation water salinity level to be used for the studied chickpea variety.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jacobsen S.-E.,Copenhagen University
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science | Year: 2014

Quinoa is a highly nutritious food product, being cultivated for several thousand years in South America, and it is recently introduced in Morocco and showed a high potential of adaptation in Morocco. A field study was carried out in the south of Morocco in order to investigate the effects of sowing date on quinoa performance in a series of experiments conducted for adaptation of quinoa. The experiment took place in Agadir, with a test of 10 sowing dates, each 15 days from 1st November to 15th March. Sowing dates affected the growth and productivity due to differences in temperature, precipitation and radiation over the year. Highest seed yield and dry matter yield were obtained when quinoa sown in November and early December. The growing season length has been affected by accumulated radiation. In addition to abiotic factors (temperature, radiation, rainfall) affecting quinoa growth, biotic factors such as downy mildew and weeds affected the yield. Early sowing in November to early December secured good plant development when low temperatures occurred in January and February and downy mildew appeared in March. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jelloul A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Jacobsen S.-E.,Copenhagen University
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science | Year: 2014

A pot experiment was conducted in the south of Morocco to evaluate the response of chickpea and quinoa to different irrigation water salinity treatments (1, 4, 7 and 10 dS m-1 for chickpea and 1, 10, 20 and 30 dS m-1 for quinoa). Increasing salinity affected significantly (P < 0.05) seedling rate and height and caused delay and reduction in seed emergence, quinoa was shown to be more resistant than chickpea. Dry biomass, seed yield, harvest index and crop water productivity were affected significantly (P < 0.05) by salinity where increasing salinity level led to decrease in dry biomass, root volume and seed yield for both quinoa and chickpea while increasing salinity resulted in increase - in the case of quinoa - and decrease - in the case of chickpea - in harvest index and crop water productivity. Na+ and Na+/K+ ratio increased with increasing irrigation water salinity, while K+ content decreased - in the case of quinoa - and increased - in the case of chickpea - with increasing salinity. Through this study, it was demonstrated that the salinity threshold in which seedling starts to be affected by salinity was equal to 2 and 8 dS m-1 for chickpea and quinoa, respectively. Quinoa was shown to be more resistant to salinity of all investigated parameters. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Hirich A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Ragab R.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Choukr-Allah R.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute | Rami A.,Agronomic and Veterinary Medicine Hassan II Institute
Irrigation Science | Year: 2014

This study investigated the impact of using treated wastewater and deficit irrigation on yield, water productivity, dry matter and soil moisture availability. The experiment included six treatments of deficit irrigation with treated wastewater during the 2010 and 2011 seasons and two deficit irrigation treatments combined with 3 organic amendment levels during the 2012 season. The experimental and SALTMED modelling results indicated that regulated deficit irrigation when applied during vegetative growth stage could stimulate root development, increase water and nutrient uptake and subsequently increase the yield. The organic amendment has slightly improved yield under full irrigation but had relatively small effect under stress conditions. The SALTMED model results supported and matched the experimental results and showed similar differences among the different treatments. The model proved its ability to predict soil moisture availability, yield, water productivity and total dry matter for three growing seasons under several deficit irrigation strategies using treated wastewater. The high values of the coefficient of determination R 2 reflected a very good agreement between the model and observed values. The SALTMED model results generally confirm the model's ability to predict sweet corn growth and productivity under deficit irrigation strategies in the semi-arid region. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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