Geographical review of Japan series B
Online ISSN : 1883-4396
ISSN-L : 1883-4396
Original Article
Sustainability of Irrigation Fruit Farming in Terms of Water Supply-demand Situation: Case Study of the Middle Basin of São Francisco River, Northeast Brazil
YAMASHITA AkioHATA Tsukasa
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2021 Volume 94 Issue 1 Pages 1-17

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Abstract

This study intended to consider the sustainability of irrigation fruit farming in terms of water supply-demand situation from the viewpoint of tolerance to drought events in Petrolina and its surrounding area in Brazil, where large-scale irrigation projects have been developed for semi-arid regions. Based on the field survey, we analyzed the actual situations of water intake and distribution on the water supply side and irrigation agriculture on the water demand side. The decrease in water resources in this region in recent years has been dramatic. However, this study revealed that the irrigation fruit farming in this region has managed to sustain itself without decreasing the area of cultivation and the harvest of produce even under the water shortage scenario of recent years. The biggest reason for this is the introduction of water-saving irrigation systems in this region in the late 1980s and the spread of these systems among most of the farmers in the region today. Meanwhile, there is also another issue unique to the region; the electricity cost has soared in the event of drought because the region relies on obtaining most of its electricity from hydroelectric power generation. It can be said that irrigation fruit farming in this region carries the dual risk of irrigation water shortage: the direct risk of irrigation water shortage due to recent continuing water scarcity and the indirect risk of insufficient irrigation water due to the restriction of irrigation facility operation with electricity shortage and soaring electricity costs caused by the shortage of power generation water.

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© 2021 The Association of Japanese Geographers
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