Next Article in Journal
Life Cycle Assessment of Flat Roof Technologies for Office Buildings in Israel
Next Article in Special Issue
Fostering Sustainable Nutrition Behavior through Gamification
Previous Article in Journal
Describing Long-Term Electricity Demand Scenarios in the Telecommunications Industry: A Case Study of Japan
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 49; doi:10.3390/su8010049

Assessing the Blue and Green Water Footprint of Lucerne for Milk Production in South Africa

Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, 205 Nelson Mandela ave, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [379 KB, uploaded 8 January 2016]   |  


The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use then was assessed by comparing water use to water availability for the region. The results show a volumetric water footprint indicator of 378 m3/tonne of lucerne. Of the total blue and green water footprint, 55% is green water footprint and 45% is blue water footprint. Thus, albeit in a major irrigation area of South Africa, the largest component of the total water requirement is met by effective rainfall. The assessment of sustainability of water use showed that the period when lucerne requires irrigation water furthermore corresponds to the period where the water scarcity index is smaller than 100%. The water footprint thus is considered sustainable from an environmental perspective. This research proves the benefit of using context specific data to assess the water footprint of a crop, and the importance of a sustainability assessment in a water footprint assessment to generate information useful for informing water users and managers towards sustainable freshwater use. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; sustainable water use; South Africa; lucerne production; agriculture water footprint; sustainable water use; South Africa; lucerne production; agriculture

Figure 1

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).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Scheepers, M.E.; Jordaan, H. Assessing the Blue and Green Water Footprint of Lucerne for Milk Production in South Africa. Sustainability 2016, 8, 49.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top