Assessment of measures to reduce the water footprint of cotton farming in India

M. Pahlow, M.S. Krol, A.Y. Hoekstra

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Abstract

There are substantial opportunities to reduce the green, blue and grey water footprint (WF) of cotton production in India due to the large production volume, the low productivity in terms of kg/ha, high pesticide use and suboptimal utilization of the broad range of agronomic measures available today. Effects of individual and combined agronomic measures aiming at yield improvement, evapotranspiration reduction and pollution reduction have been evaluated regarding their potential for WF reduction. Thereby the water consumption (green and blue WF), as well as water pollution (grey WF) have been considered.

Based on the findings presented in this report, general recommendations regarding measures and strategies to decrease the WF of cotton production can be provided. Given that the grey WF is generally much larger than the consumptive WF, reduction of the grey WF has priority over reduction of the consumptive WF. Yet India has diverse agro-ecological zones and therefore it must be noted that region-specific measures and strategies are essential to achieve best benefit. The zones deviate in climate, soil type and financial means from each other, hence suitability and feasibility of implementation of a certain measure may differ for a given location.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelft, the Netherlands
PublisherUnesco-IHE Institute for Water Education
Number of pages76
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameValue of Water Research Report
PublisherUnesco-IHE Institute for Water Education
No.68

Keywords

  • Water footprint
  • India
  • Cotton
  • Farming

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