In the period 2000-2008, the area of land prepared for irrigation expanded from 4,554 to 9,695 ha and its share in total utilised agricultural area increased from 0.9 to 1.3%. Water consumption per hectare of land prepared for irrigation, which strongly depends on weather conditions from year to year, has decreased since 2000.
This indicator shows the area of land prepared for irrigation, irrigated areas and water consumption for the purposes of irrigation in Slovenia in the period 2000–2015, as well as the share of irrigable area in the total utilised agricultural area in the European Union (EU) in 2000, 2007 and 2013. The indicator does not provide direct information on environmental acceptability of irrigation, but indicates the irrigation-related pressure on the environment.
Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2016.
|Irrigable area - Sprinkling||ha||6063||4947||4372||4967||7301||6890||5417|
|Irrigable area - Drop by drop||ha||276||356||355||428||575||842||2424|
|Utilised agricultural area (UAA), total||ha||508960||509624||505462||509709||490520||508759||490318||498467||492424||468496|
|SHARE OF IRRIGABLE AREA IN TOTAL UAA||%||0.9||1.2||1.1||0.9||1.1||1.6||1.6||1.7|
|Orchards, olive groves, nurseries||ha||665||690||658||632||616||560||603||613||634||641|
|WATER USE FOR IRRIGATION||1000 m3||6569||8384||5257||6383||4553||2309||6344||4440||1728||1955|
|IRRIGATION WATER ALLOCATION RATES||m3/ha||1442.5||1006.9||858.6||488.5||1175.9||563.7||223.5||249.3|
|Irrigable area - Sprinkling||ha||5267||5833||5042||0||0||0|
|Irrigable area - Drop by drop||ha||2337||2466||458||0||0||0|
|Utilised agricultural area (UAA), total||ha||482653||458195||479653||478888||482218.4||476861|
|SHARE OF IRRIGABLE AREA IN TOTAL UAA||%||1.6||1.8||1.1||1||1.1||1.3|
|Orchards, olive groves, nurseries||ha||626||710||354||550||409||514|
|WATER USE FOR IRRIGATION||1000 m3||1608||3147||2235||3604||1712||3625|
|IRRIGATION WATER ALLOCATION RATES||m3/ha||211.5||379.2||406.4||755.2||327.8||595.8|
Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2016;EUROSTAT, 2016.
|Ireland||Luxembourg||Latvia||Estonia||Lithuania||Poland||United Kingdom||Czech Republic||Slovenia||Belgium|
To increase the extent of irrigable agricultural area by 2020 through upgrading the existing, and constructing new, technologically modern irrigation systems with more efficient water consumption, which should not pose a threat to water sources. The construction of 2,400 hectares of new irrigation systems is planned by 2020.
Under conditions where agriculture is ever more frequently faced with longer periods of drought, irrigation during key phases of growth enables effective increase of the quantity and quality of crops and thus contributes to lower dependence of agricultural production on natural conditions and enables a more stable income. At the same time, irrigation is associated with certain threats to the environment. Water consumption for irrigation may lead to excessive use of water resources causing a greater risk of soil erosion, pollution of waters with nitrates and pesticides, mineralisation of soil and other negative consequences for the environment (reduction of biodiversity, disappearance of habitats, reduction of natural and landscape diversity). These risks can be reduced by the use of more modern and efficient irrigation technologies and by limiting the extent of irrigation so that it does not threat available water resources. Mitigation of these risks are included in the demands of the EU Water Framework Directive. An environmental impact assessment must be conducted and nature protection consent must be issued for any irrigation project. In addition, an analysis of availability of water resources must be carried out and a water permit must be issued.
In 2000, 4,554 hectares or 0.9% of all utilised agricultural area was prepared for irrigation. By 2015, this area grew to 6,084 hectares, which was 1.3% of all utilised agricultural area. The land is mostly prepared for drop by drop irrigation (91.6% in 2012), while the rest is prepared for sprinkling.
In the structure of land that was irrigated at least once over the course of a year, arable land and gardens prevail (54% in 2015). The most frequently irrigated crops are hops, vegetables, fruit, and maize.
Water consumption for irrigation depends mainly on weather conditions in a given year. In 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006, which were the driest years, between 6 and 8 million m3 of water per year (6,920,000 m3 per year on average) was used for irrigation, while in other years, water consumption was lower (3,819,000 m3 per year on average). In the period 2000–2015, average water consumption per hectare of land prepared for irrigation was 620 m3 per year, with a maximum of 1,442 m3 in 2000 and a minimum of 221 m3 in 2010.
In Slovenia, the share of land prepared for irrigation in total utilised agricultural area is among the lowest among the EU Member States. In 2013, this share was lower than in Slovenia (below 1%) in only eight Member States. The greatest shares of land prepared for irrigation are in Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Malta (over 30%), while among Central and Northern European countries, Denmark (more than 16%) and the Netherlands (27%) stand out. In the period 2007–2013, the largest increase in the share of land prepared for irrigation took place in Spain (14%), while in Greece, it decreased by almost 7%.