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Ecohydrological modelling – devising strategies for sustainable agricultural water management in the Hindon basin

  • 1 July, 2022
  • Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management
  • prof. dr. CJ Ritsema
  • dr. ir. JC van Damdr. S Bonetti

The Hindon, tributary of the Ganga River is known to be highly contaminated by a broad range of pollutants. Intense fertilizer and pesticide use, combined with agricultural runoff and groundwater percolation, is a major cause of pollution of water resources in this basin. Devising strategies for river remediation requires a deeper understanding of the hydrological and chemical processes involved. The focus of PhD is to develop and apply ecohydrological models to describe field scale hydrological and chemical processes. Specially, the focus is on the following objectives:
• Determine sets of effective soil physical parameters through inverse modelling of water balances at a range of different scales and link these parameters to classical soil survey and optical remote sensing data. Develop aggregation rules to upscale soil water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves.
• Optimize irrigation regimes that reduces runoff and percolation – but optimizes crop production – to address the challenges faced by the Hindon basin using the soil physical properties acquired.
• Develop new procedures to define system properties that will allow the computation of the chemical balances of nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticides in typical soil-crop-climate combinations found in the Hindon basin and devise improved fertilizer application plans.

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Researcher

Shailendra Shah

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