Water and energy footprint of irrigated agriculture in the Mediterranean region

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dc.contributor.author Daccache, Andre
dc.contributor.author Ciurana, J. S.
dc.contributor.author Rodriguez Diaz, J. A.
dc.contributor.author Knox, Jerry W.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-04-25T13:25:10Z
dc.date.available 2016-04-25T13:25:10Z
dc.date.issued 2014-12-15
dc.identifier.citation Daccache, A., Ciurana, J. S., Rodriguez Diaz, J. A., Knox, J. W. (2014) Water and energy footprint of irrigated agriculture in the Mediterranean region, Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 9, Iss. 12, p. 124014 en_UK
dc.identifier.issn 1748-9326
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/9/12/124014
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/9841
dc.description.abstract Irrigated agriculture constitutes the largest consumer of freshwater in the Mediterranean region and provides a major source of income and employment for rural livelihoods. However, increasing droughts and water scarcity have highlighted concerns regarding the environmental sustainability of agriculture in the region. An integrated assessment combining a gridded water balance model with a geodatabase and GIS has been developed and used to assess the water demand and energy footprint of irrigated production in the region. Modelled outputs were linked with crop yield and water resources data to estimate water (m3 kg−1) and energy (CO2 kg−1) productivity and identify vulnerable areas or 'hotspots'. For a selected key crops in the region, irrigation accounts for 61 km3 yr−1 of water abstraction and 1.78 Gt CO2 emissions yr−1, with most emissions from sunflower (73 kg CO2/t) and cotton (60 kg CO2/t) production. Wheat is a major strategic crop in the region and was estimated to have a water productivity of 1000 t Mm−3 and emissions of 31 kg CO2/t. Irrigation modernization would save around 8 km3 of water but would correspondingly increase CO2 emissions by around +135%. Shifting from rain-fed to irrigated production would increase irrigation demand to 166 km3 yr−1 (+137%) whilst CO2 emissions would rise by +270%. The study has major policy implications for understanding the water–energy–food nexus in the region and the trade-offs between strategies to save water, reduce CO2 emissions and/or intensify food production. en_UK
dc.language.iso en en_UK
dc.publisher IOP Publishing en_UK
dc.rights Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms. Under the following terms: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. Information: No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. en_UK
dc.subject Food security en_UK
dc.subject CO2 emissions en_UK
dc.subject Nexus en_UK
dc.subject Water productivity en_UK
dc.subject Water resources en_UK
dc.title Water and energy footprint of irrigated agriculture in the Mediterranean region en_UK
dc.type Article en_UK


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