Day 1 :
Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland
Keynote: Anthropogenic changes in water storage in peat deposit in intramountain orawa – Nowy targ basin (Western Carpathians)
Time : 10:30-11:00
Adam Łajczak (Geomorphologist, Hydrologist) is currently the Head of Research in the Department of Geoinformation and Geoenvironment at the Institute of Geography of Pedagogical University in Cracow (Poland). His research is focused on geoecology of mountains and their forelands, rivers valleys and marshy areas. He is a Member of Association of Polish Geomorphologists, International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG), International Association of Hydrological Sciences (Commissions: Continental Erosion and Water Resources) and European Geophysical Union organizations respectively. He started his research in the frames of the project IAG – Anthropocene Geomorphology. In his research much attention is paid to geomorphology, hydrology and paleogeography of peatbogs, especially to anthropogenic degradation of peatbogs and decrease of their water retention. Simultaneously he is engaged in the research on causes, course and results of floods in the valleys of the Carpathians and their northern foreland and on hydrological consequences of progressive decrease of capacity of dam reservoirs due to their siltation.
The aim of the presentation is to evaluate the scale of changes in water storage in peat deposit in the Orawa-Nowy Targ Basin (643 km2) off the western Carpathians (European mountain range), influenced by human activity since the middle ages till 2015. The basin is covered by fluvioglacial fans rich in groundwater and stores large amounts of water in vast peatbogs, especially raised bogs. The peatbogs occur at the altitude from 592 to 770 m a.s.l. (metres above sea level) since the middle ages the peatbogs in this basin have been degraded by human impact, mainly due to peat exploitation and drainage by dense network of ditches. After 1990 shrinkage of the limit of peatbog domes slowed down or even stopped and draining ditches are not cleaned which causes increasing irrigation of post-peat areas. Contemporary limit of individual peatbogs and their elements (i.e. reduced domes, post-peat areas, isolated peat patches) in the basin was determined based on data from aerial laser scanning LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and additionally from peatbogs mapping. Former limit of peatbogs was assessed on the basis of historical maps (18th-20th centuries) and mapping of remnants of peat deposit. Using drilling methods, the thickness of peat deposit was measured within each peatbog in the period from August to October (relatively dry deposit). In order to determine the amount of water in peat, four raised bogs and four fens, assumed as representative for the area studied, were sampled in 2008-2015 from May to October (every two months). Using Kopecky`s cells (0.25 dm3), 540 peat samples were taken at the profile depth every 50 cm, which were the bases to calculate capillary capacity of peat in volume version Pwv [%]. Water resources in peatbogs both current and those probable existing before the beginning of the intensive human impact in the basin were estimated based on the appropriate volume of peat deposits and values of capillary water volume of peat Pwv [%]. Finally, maximal amount of water which may be stored in domes (now in residual domes and post-peat areas) and fens was estimated. In the past probable total amount of water which might have been permanently stored in fens in the basin was estimated to 32 million m3, and in the raised bog domes 139 million m3 (together 171 million m3). Total amount of water which is currently stored in fens in the basin is estimated to 15.1 million m3, in raised bog domes to 45.2 million m3, and in post-peat areas to 2.1 million m3 (total volume of water is 62.4 million m3). In relation to the whole area of the basin, the index of water retention of peatbogs reaches 10 cm and at the end of the middle ages this index was probably 27 cm. The fastest rate of water loss in peats occurred 50-150 years ago.
IIT Gandhinagar, India
Keynote: Synthesis and characterization of hydrophobic soil and its applications in reducing water evaporation and enhancing growth of plants, water harvesting in construction
Time : 11:20-11:50
Prakash Mehta pursued his PhD in Polymer Science from the Polytechnic University, USA (1976); MS in Polymer Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic, USA (1974); MS in Inorganic Chemistry at the same university (1973) and MSc in Physical Chemistry from Sardar Patel University, India (1969) respectively. He has over 35 years of experience in USA in R&D, product development and production in the field of organosilanes and silicones technology. He worked at Degussa Corporation (Evonik) for over 28 years. He has developed over 40 organosilanes/silicones commercial products. He is one of the Team Member for the waterproofing product development for the NASA space shuttle. He taught Chemistry (part time) for 25 years at the local universities (Pace University; University of South Alabama, USA respectively). He is the Research Advisor at L D Engineering College and Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. He is an Inventor and Developer of Zycosoil (Soil waterproofing), Terasil, Zycotherm, AsphaSeal, AguaProof and TerrenoSeal (Soil waterproofing) commercial products. He has four US patents to his credit.
Plants cannot live without water! and most plants require considerable quantities of water. The amounts needed vary with the types of plants, conditions, stages of growth, rapidity of growth and other factors. Because soils vary greatly in their capacities to absorb and retain moisture, and make it available to plants, it is necessary to consider the soil as well as the plants when dealing with water transport to the plant. With varying patterns of climate changes and variability, water resources for agriculture may become more unpredictable. Food security and water availability for agriculture have become important topics in the wake of global warming and climate changes. Maize ranks third after rice and wheat in terms of cereal crops with global importance. Maize production and productivity both are highly susceptible to drought stress particularly at early growth and silking stage. Increase in plant water availability through technological intervention is the need of time as the country and as the whole world is facing serious issue of decrease in ground water content. Recent development of hydrophobic soil could be one of the major breakthroughs in the area of water conservation as observed in our recent study under controlled conditions using maize as a model crop. Hydrophobic coating with organosilane can certainly reduce the evaporation rate and enhance the vegetative growth of plants. Experiments on morphological and physiological effect of hydrophobic soil on growth of maize using four hydrophobic soil layers (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 cm) on top of normal soil was conducted at Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat, India revealed significant increase in shoot length, number of leaves and stem diameter which clearly reflected growth promotary effects of hydrophobic layering on normal soil compared to control plants. It showed response in the scale of 1.0>0.5>2.0>3.0 cm of top soil layering. This increase may be attributed due to lesser water stress as experienced by the control plants which showed lesser growth and performance compared to all the soil layering plants. This technology for hydrophobic soil can also be used for natural water harvesting reservoir. Building foundation can be compacted with hydrophobic soil to prevent capillary rise of water into building structures.
International Rice Research Institute, India
Keynote: Catering to high variability and climate change: What next in site specific nutrient management?
Time : 11:50-12:20
Sheetal Sharma is a Soil Scientist at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). She works as an integral part of IRRI Rice Crop Manager Team. She leads the initiatives in South Asia to transform the provision of information to farmers and, to make site-specific recommendations available to small farmers. She majorly works on combining detailed information on crop performance with innovative knowledge transfer approaches and the development of ICT-based decision-support tools suited to extension workers and farmers using mobile applications or computers. The work has targeted small-scale farmers in India, and these applications are enabling farmers to improve the profitability of rice through more timely and accurate crop management. Decision tools have received government endorsement and are now adopted at State level. She is also actively involved in capacity development of local scientists and scholars. She has authored and co-authored more than 20 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals/book chapters.
Site specific nutrient management (SSNM) in crops is gaining popularity due to its advantage over blanket recommended management practices (BRMPs) as it takes into account site specificity, season and crop growth variability in making soil and crop sustainable. SSNM have proved to increase yield and net profit and has been adopted by various governments and agriculture departments for scaling out. Climate change introduces new dynamics and uncertainties into agriculture production system. It affects agriculture through different means that include changes in average temperature, rainfall and climate extremes, changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, changes in ozone concentration, changes in pest and diseases and deviations in nutritional quality. Real time climate information can help agriculturalists better manage risk, making the most of favorable climatic conditions while protecting their livelihoods from extreme events. GIS (Geographical Information System) ensures the availability of accurate forecasting of meteorological data, allow for precise predictions of crop water requirements with unprecedented spatial resolution. Remote sensing (RS) can provide the missing spatial information required by crop models for improved yield prediction. The indispensable role of GIS and RS in site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) is efficient use of nutrients for achieving the set target. Use of GIS and RS in the SSNM can do provision for mid-season correction, setting target yield based on local environment and conditions and in generating weather based advisories, leading to balanced nutrient recommendation and ultimately augmenting soil and crop productivity. Nutrient management in stress environment can be managed by the use of mid-season corrections. To improve the crop production and farmer’s income appropriate achievable target yield should be set in the SSNM. Use of GIS can help to set in precise target yield. Overall, use of geo-informatics in SSNM can really boon for sustenance under changing climate and exposing variability.