Water resources in agro-forestal systems

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The purpose of the course is to provide deep knowledge in the main hydrological processes that characterize the systems of water resources and in modern tools used for planning and management of water resources at the basin scale.
Expected learning outcomes
The student deepens his knowledge in the processes taking place in water resources systems and becomes familiar with the main tools used for planning and management of water resources (field and lab monitoring techniques, GIS for the management of spatial information related to water resources systems, hydrological modeling at the scale of plot and irrigation systems, decision support systems for integrated planning of water resources).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
CFU 1 - Introduction: educational objectives, contents, examination, material for the course. European and national legislation in the field of water resources. Review of the knowledge base of hydrological cycle, hydrological processes and water balance at the agricultural soil and watershed scales, hydraulics. CFU 2-3 - Water in the soil and subsoil, laws governing water movements in the unsaturated and saturated zones. The unsaturated zone: water content and potential, retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves, pedo-transfer functions, law of continuity, Darcy's law and its extension to non-saturated porous media, Richards equation for the unsaturated porous media, modification of the Richards equation in case of vegetated soils. The saturated zone: laws governing water movements in the saturated zone. CFU 4 - Tools and techniques for the monitoring in the field and in laboratory of: potential and actual evapotranspiration, crop coefficient, leaf area index, bulk density, soil water content, matric potential, water retention curve, saturated hydraulic conductivity, irrigation supply, water table depth. CFU 5-6 - Hydrological modeling at the field and basin scales. The process of model building, calibration and validation. Classification of hydrological models and examples of models. Decision support systems (DSS) applied to the integrated and participatory planning of water resources at the basin scale. 6 CFU (informatic lab) - An example of a physically based model (solving the Richards equation) for the simulation of hydrological processes at the field scale. Its application to a maize field in the Lodi area. CFU 6 (informatic lab) - An example of a conceptual distributed model for the irrigation planning at the irrigation district scale. Its application to a 700 km2 irrigation district in Lombardy.
Teaching methods
The material for the course is on the ARIEL site (slide and and supplementary material: chapters of books references, law texts, electronic sheets implementing calculation procedures, scientific papers, etc.)
Computer room practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 48 hours