Water footprints and crop water use of 175 individual crops for 1990–2019 simulated with a global crop model

Oleksandr Mialyk*, Joep F. Schyns, Martijn J. Booij, Han Su, Rick J. Hogeboom, Markus Berger

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The water footprint of a crop (WF) is a common metric for assessing agricultural water consumption and productivity. To provide an update and methodological enhancement of existing WF datasets, we apply a global process-based crop model to quantify consumptive WFs of 175 individual crops at a 5 arcminute resolution over the 1990–2019 period. This model simulates the daily crop growth and vertical water balance considering local environmental conditions, crop characteristics, and farm management. We partition WFs into green (water from precipitation) and blue (from irrigation or capillary rise), and differentiate between rainfed and irrigated production systems. The outputs include gridded datasets and national averages for unit water footprints (expressed in m3 t−1 yr−1), water footprints of production (m3 yr−1), and crop water use (mm yr−1). We compare our estimates to other global studies covering different historical periods and methodological approaches. Provided outputs can offer insights into spatial and temporal patterns of agricultural water consumption and serve as inputs for further virtual water trade studies, life cycle and water footprint assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number206
JournalScientific Data
Volume11
Early online date14 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 14 Feb 2024

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