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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 38; doi:10.3390/su10010038

Assessing Green and Blue Water Footprints in the Supply Chain of Cocoa Production: A Case Study in the Northeast of Colombia

1
Gaia Servicios Ambientales. Cll 32b sur-47-06, Envigado 050001, Antioquia, Colombia
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad de Pamplona, Km 1 Bucaramanga, Campus Universitario, Pamplona 760032, Norte de Santander, Colombia
3
Departamento de Microbiología, Universidad de Pamplona, Km 1 Bucaramanga, Campus Universitario, Pamplona 760032, Norte de Santander, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Supply Chain Management)
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Abstract

Cocoa is an important commercial crop in the tropics, and estimating the water footprint to target areas of improvement is a worthwhile effort. The main goal of this paper was to assess the regional green and blue water footprints (WF) of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) production in the department of Norte de Santander, Colombia. Water footprint assessment was based on the Water Footprint Assessment Manual. The results show that the green water footprint was about 13,189 m3/ton, and the blue water footprint was 5687 m3/ton. The WF proposed method can be a good approximation for the uses of water for different crops, but weather conditions and hydrological modeling must be considered in extreme conditions, which would permit a much more detailed analysis for a region. This study allowed us to provide data on the cocoa water footprint, principally concentrating on elevated grain production in the department of Norte de Santander, Colombia. In addition, some of these results may positively contribute to water resource management improvement, especially regarding food security and water scarcity, both at the local and national levels. Therefore, the cocoa production process was analyzed from agronomic practices in settled crops, through the primary processing of the grain, to the procedures of grain selection and packaging. Thus, taking into consideration that most cocoa crops produced in Colombia are not irrigated, it is possible to implement productivity enhancement programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue footprint; cocoa; evapotranspiration; green footprint; virtual water; water footprint blue footprint; cocoa; evapotranspiration; green footprint; virtual water; water footprint
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Naranjo-Merino, C.A.; Ortíz-Rodriguez, O.O.; Villamizar-G, R.A. Assessing Green and Blue Water Footprints in the Supply Chain of Cocoa Production: A Case Study in the Northeast of Colombia. Sustainability 2018, 10, 38.

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