||The network of irrigation channels that are still working in Sierra Nevada was designed and built by Arabs, to assure water for agriculture, pastures and forests in summer time, when there is no rain in Mediterranean mountains. These channels take water from Alpine rivers and transport it to the farmland, villages and mountain pastures. Irrigation channels are therefore a backbone of the Sierra Nevada landscape.
Our project will assess the effect of the climate change (under different socioeconomic scenarios) over the current irrigation system of Sierra Nevada. We will model the hydrological, agricultural and ecological impacts of climate change over the irrigation system. This will allow us to gather the knowledge necessary to adapt the system to cope with the impacts of climate change. So, our projects aim to use the irrigation channels as tools to conserve biodiversity and traditional land uses in the next decades.
The specific objectives are:
• Assess the effects of climate change over the water transport capability of the channels.
• Evaluate the impacts of the decrease in water availability over croplands, grasslands and deciduous forests.
• Design a plan to adapt the irrigation system to minimize the impacts of climate change over croplands, pastures and deciduous forests in Sierra Nevada.
• Implement the previously designed plan in a pilot area: Genil valley in Sierra Nevada.