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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 305; doi:10.3390/su10020305

Analysis of Blue and Green Water Consumption at the Irrigation District Scale

State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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The concepts of virtual water and water footprint bring a new perspective for water management. Previous studies mainly focus on one type of water and the relationship between water footprint and water availability. In this study, three indicators were proposed to show water consumption and the influences of virtual water flows at the Hetao irrigation district, China, during 2001–2010, considering both blue and green water. Results indicate that the ratio of blue water footprint and blue water availability was 0.642 in 2010 and the value for green water was 0.148, coefficients on contribution of regional production on consumption in other areas were about 0.9, and coefficients on influences of trades from other regions to the district on regional water consumption were 0.528 (blue water) and 0.433 (green water), respectively. Government should promote water pricing policies that can encourage the adoption of irrigation technologies and water-saving practices. Besides, the adjustment of the crop sowing date or the cultivation of new varieties may be helpful in using more rainfall. Lastly, a compensation mechanism for virtual water export should be built in the future, and virtual water importing can be advocated. Before actions are taken, the possible influences and related constraints should be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; virtual water flows; production; consumption; blue water; green water; irrigation district; indicator water footprint; virtual water flows; production; consumption; blue water; green water; irrigation district; indicator

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, J.; Cao, X.; Li, B.; Yu, Z. Analysis of Blue and Green Water Consumption at the Irrigation District Scale. Sustainability 2018, 10, 305.

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