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Article

Water Footprint, Blue Water Scarcity, and Economic Water Productivity of Irrigated Crops in Peshawar Basin, Pakistan

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Haripur, Haripur 22620, Pakistan
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
3
Division of Agronomy, University of Göttingen, Von-Siebold-Strasse 8, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
4
Department of Water Engineering and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
5
Department of Geography, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Deceased.
Academic Editor: Alexander Yakirevich
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 27 March 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021 / Published: 29 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Water Stress and Deficit Irrigation)
Pakistan possesses the fourth largest irrigation network in the world, serving 20.2 million hectares of cultivated land. With an increasing irrigated area, Pakistan is short of freshwater resources and faces severe water scarcity and food security challenges. This is the first comprehensive study on the water footprint (WF) of crop production in Peshawar Basin. WF is defined as the volume of freshwater required to produce goods and services. In this study, we assessed the blue and green water footprints (WFs) and annual blue and green water consumption of major crops (maize, rice, tobacco, wheat, barley, sugarcane, and sugar beet) in Peshawar Basin, Pakistan. The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard (GWFAS) and AquaCrop model were used to model the daily WF of each crop from 1986 to 2015. In addition, the blue water scarcity, in the context of available surface water, and economic water productivity (EWP) of these crops were assessed. The 30 year average blue and green WFs of major crops revealed that maize had the highest blue and green WFs (7077 and 2744 m3/ton, respectively) and sugarcane had the lowest blue and green WFs (174 and 45 m3/ton, respectively). The average annual consumption of blue water by major crops in the basin was 1.9 billion m3, where 67% was used for sugarcane and maize, covering 48% of the cropland. The average annual consumption of green water was 1.0 billion m3, where 68% was used for wheat and sugarcane, covering 67% of the cropland. The WFs of all crops exceeded the global average. The results showed that annually the basin is supplied with 30 billion m3 of freshwater. Annually, 3 billion m3 of freshwater leaves the basin unutilized. The average annual blue water consumption by major crops is 31% of the total available surface water (6 billion m3) in the basin. Tobacco and sugar beet had the highest blue and green EWP while wheat and maize had the lowest. The findings of this study can help the water management authorities in formulating a comprehensive policy for efficient utilization of available water resources in Peshawar Basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: green water footprint; blue water footprint; canal irrigated crops; water scarcity; economic water productivity; Pakistan green water footprint; blue water footprint; canal irrigated crops; water scarcity; economic water productivity; Pakistan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, T.; Nouri, H.; Booij, M.J.; Hoekstra, A.Y.; Khan, H.; Ullah, I. Water Footprint, Blue Water Scarcity, and Economic Water Productivity of Irrigated Crops in Peshawar Basin, Pakistan. Water 2021, 13, 1249. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13091249

AMA Style

Khan T, Nouri H, Booij MJ, Hoekstra AY, Khan H, Ullah I. Water Footprint, Blue Water Scarcity, and Economic Water Productivity of Irrigated Crops in Peshawar Basin, Pakistan. Water. 2021; 13(9):1249. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13091249

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khan, Tariq, Hamideh Nouri, Martijn J. Booij, Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Hizbullah Khan, and Ihsan Ullah. 2021. "Water Footprint, Blue Water Scarcity, and Economic Water Productivity of Irrigated Crops in Peshawar Basin, Pakistan" Water 13, no. 9: 1249. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13091249

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