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Sun S.,Northwest University, China | Sun S.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | Liu J.,Northwest University, China | Liu J.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Scarcity and competition for water are becoming matters of increasing concern around the world. The interdisciplinary nature of the problem requires that the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of water usage are integrated into a coherent analytical framework. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation of agricultural water use during crop production is a necessary prerequisite for agricultural water management. The present study provides an overview of water-accounting and water footprint assessment methods by analysing the performance, efficiency, economic profitability and environmental impact of the Hetao Irrigation District, China. The performance and efficiency results showed that the total volume of water consumed in the Hetao Irrigation District, during wheat production, was 872 Mm3, of which 116 Mm3 was green water and 756 Mm3 was blue water. Furthermore, 443 Mm3 of the blue water was used effectively, while 313 Mm3 was non-beneficial due to an inefficient irrigation system. The grey water footprint was 152 Mm3 during wheat production, which accounted for 15.42% of the total available water in the district. The results indicated that the economic profit is higher relative to the national average due to the high yields in wheat production in the Hetao Irrigation District. However, efficient use of resources and environmental sustainability were relatively low due to high water consumption and pollution. This study highlighted the need for a comprehensive evaluation of water use in agricultural production and it provides insights by using water footprint and water accounting in water use assessment and is a reference for other related studies. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Liu J.,CAS Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Liu J.,Northwest University, China | Liu J.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | Wu P.,CAS Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | And 11 more authors.
Paiguan Jixie Gongcheng Xuebao/Journal of Drainage and Irrigation Machinery Engineering | Year: 2014

Properly evaluating utilization of water resources in an irrigation district is of great significance for improvement of the existing water resources management; thus two concepts, namely water footprint and virtual water are introduced and their temporal and spatial variations are analyzed in Hetao Irrigation District from 1960 to 2008. The analysis is focused on green and blue water and based on two indexes, such as the ratio of water for grain production to totally consumed water, R1, and the ratio of virtual water for grain export to water for grain production, R2. The results show that the grain water footprint is decreased to 1.63×109 m3 in 2008 from 3.53×109 m3 in 1960, and the net virtual water export demonstrates a decreasing trend in 2000s. Besides, the blue water accounts for 90% of both the grain water footprint and net virtual water export. The grain water footprint and net virtual water export in the central irrigation district (Hanghou, Linhe and Wuyuan) are larger than those in the other areas (Dengkou and Qianqi). Further, R1 is decreased at an averaged rate of 1.07% during the studied period, while R2 is showed a fluctuating rise. The value of R2 is decreased in 2000s, but it still is as high as 76.22% in 2008. In future, water use efficiency of green and blue water should be improved in Hetao Irrigation District. This study can provide a theoretical basis for policy-making in water resources management and sustainable development of an irrigation district. Source


Sun S.,Chinese Ministry of Water Resources | Sun S.,Northwest University, China | Sun S.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Sun S.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | And 12 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Irrigation plays an increasing important role in agriculture of China. The assessment of water resources utilization during agricultural production process will contribute to improving agricultural water management practices for the irrigation districts. The water footprint provides a new approach to assessing the agricultural water utilization. The present paper put forward a modified calculation method to quantify the water footprint of crop. On this basis, this paper calculated the water footprint of major crop in Hetao irrigation district, China. Then, it evaluated the influencing factors that caused the variability of crop water footprint during the study period. Results showed that: 1) the annual average water footprint of integrated-crop production in Hetao irrigation district was 3.91m3kg-1 (90.91% blue water and 9.09% green water). The crop production in the Hetao irrigation district mainly relies on blue water; 2) under the integrated influences of interannual climate variability and variation of agricultural inputs, the water footprint of integrated-crop production displayed a decreasing trend; 3) the contribution rate of the climatic factors to the variation of water footprint was only -6.90%, while the total contribution rate of the agricultural inputs factors was -84.31%. The results suggest that the water footprint of crop mainly depends on agricultural management rather than the regional climate and its variation. The results indicated that the water footprint of a crop could be controlled at a reasonable level by better management of all agricultural inputs and the improvement of water use efficiency in agriculture. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Sun S.,Chinese Ministry of Water Resources | Sun S.,Northwest University, China | Sun S.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | Sun S.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2012

The water footprint theory provides a new method to assess agricultural water utilization, as it permits the comparison of crops from the perspective of water consumption amount and types, it can also reflect the water productivity of crops. Irrigation plays an important role to the food security of China. The assessment of water resource utilization during agricultural production processes will contribute to improving agricultural water management practices for the irrigation districts. The present paper provides a new calculation method to quantify the water footprint of crop. On this basis, this paper calculates the water footprint of grain in the Hetao irrigation district. Then, it assesses temporal-spatial variability of water footprint for grain during 1960-2008. Results indicate that: 1) the multi-year average water footprint of grain in Hetao irrigation district was 2.20 m3 kg-1, which was 89.41% blue and 11.59% green. The grain production in the Hetao irrigation district mainly relies on blue water (irrigation water); 2) the regional differences of water footprint for the 5 counties in Hetao irrigation district was significant. The analysis indicated that spatial differences of climatic condition, agricultural production level and planting structure lead to the diversity of water footprint for grain among the 5 counties; 3) the water footprint of grain decreased during the study period, exhibiting a trend of 0.09 (m3 /kg) a-1. The analysis showed that the decrease of water footprint was mainly driven by the improvement of agricultural production level, the increase of agricultural water use efficiency and the change of grain crop planting structure. Source


Liu J.,CAS Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Liu J.,Institute of Water Saving Agriculture in Arid Regions of China | Liu J.,National Engineering Research Center for Water Saving Irrigation at Yangling | Wu P.,CAS Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2013

Together with the transfer of commodities, regions trade water that is needed for the production of commodities in virtual form. This is called virtual water flow or virtual water trade. Analysis of virtual water flows could supply a better understanding of water resources problems and provide some suggestions for the improvement of water resources management. The aim of the study was to determine the virtual water flows related to regional crop transfer and its effects on local water resources in Hetao irrigation district, China, from 1960 to 2008. Results indicate that: (1) virtual water export showed an increasing trend over the study period and the multi-year average value was 2.17×109 m3; (2) blue virtual water export accounted for 87.98% of virtual water export; (3) the export rate of water resources (the virtual water export related to crop transfer divided by the total water used in local area) increased from 38.51% in 1960s to 56.82% in 2000s. Results indicate that virtual water export put great pressure on local water resources and brought environmental issues to Hetao irrigation district. The government should take measures to improve both blue water (irrigation water) and green water (rain water) use efficiency to alleviate water crisis. Source

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