This module seeks to evaluate the sustainability of existing and proposed systems for managing soil and water in the agricultural environment.
Recognition of soil types; management of physical issues including structure, organic content, erosion control etc.; management of nutrient supply including fertiliser and organic materials. Control of contamination and pollution (PTEs, sewage sludge and industrial amendments).
Soil-water interactions; crop requirements, irrigation and drainage. Water supply, collection techniques, water conservation measures (mulches, etc.); risk and avoidance of salinization and sodicity.
Sustainability of soil resource use. Evaluation of farming systems [organic, integrated, conventional], proposed protection strategies and risk posed by climate change.
To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:
- Examine and critically appraise the application of the fundamentals of pedology and hydrology in sustainable resource management.
- Evaluate the sustainability of systems for managing the soil resource.
- Evaluate water resource use within the environment.
Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:
- Burton, M. (2010). Irrigation Management, Principles and Practices. CABI.
- Cook, H.F. and Lee, H.C. (1995). (Eds.). Soil Management in Sustainable Agriculture. Wye College Press.
- European Environment Agency (2000). Down to Earth: Soil Degradation and Sustainable Development in Europe: A Challenge for the 21st Century. (Environmental issue report; 16). European Environment Agency.
- Gleick, P.H. (2009). The World's Water 2008-2009: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. Island Press.
- Gupta, S.K. (2011). Modern Hydrology and Sustainable Water Development. Wiley-Blackwell.
- Houghton, J. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Parliament (1996). Sustainable Use of Soil: Nineteenth report. HMSO.
- IAEA (2005). Nutrient and Water Management Practices for Increasing Crop Production in Rainfed Arid/Semi-arid Areas. IAEA-TECDOC-1468.
- Lal, R. (1995). Sustainable Management of Soil Resources in the Humid Tropics. United Nations University.
- Magdoff, F.R. and Weil, R.R. (2004). Soil Organic Matter in Sustainable Agriculture. CRC Press.
- Millar, A. (2011). (ed.). Soil Health and Sustainability. Strategic report produced by the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network.
- Molden, D. (2007). Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Earthscan.
- Newson, M. (2009). Land, Water and Development. 3rd edition. Routledge.
- Pascual, U., Shah, A. and Bandyopadhyay, J. (2009). Water, Agriculture and Sustainable Well-being. Oxford University Press.
- Journal of Sustainable Agriculture.
- Soil Use and Management.