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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2283; doi:10.3390/su9122283

Implications of Water Use and Water Scarcity Footprint for Sustainable Rice Cultivation

1
The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, 126 Prachauthit, Bangmod, Tungkru, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
2
Center of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment, PERDO, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
3
Centre of Excellence on enVironmental strategy for GREEN business (VGREEN), Faculty of Environment, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10903, Thailand
4
Department of Environmental Technology and Management, Faculty of Environment, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract

Rice cultivation is a vital economic sector of many countries in Asia, including Thailand, with the well-being of people relying significantly on selling rice commodities. Water-intensive rice cultivation is facing the challenge of water scarcity. The study assessed the volumetric freshwater use and water scarcity footprint of the major and second rice cultivation systems in the Chao Phraya, Tha Chin, Mun, and Chi watersheds of Thailand. The results revealed that a wide range of freshwater use, i.e., 0.9–3.0 m3/kg of major rice and 0.9–2.3 m3/kg of second rice, and a high water use of rice was found among the watersheds in the northeastern region, like the Mun and Chi watersheds. However, the water scarcity footprint results showed that the second rice cultivation in watersheds, like in Chao Phraya and Tha Chin in the central region, need to be focused for improving the irrigation water use efficiency. The alternate wetting and drying (AWD) method was found to be a promising approach for substituting the pre-germinated seed broadcasting system to enhance the water use efficiency of second rice cultivation in the central region. Recommendations vis-à-vis the use of the water stress index as a tool for agricultural zoning policy were also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: rice; water; water scarcity footprint; AWD system; sustainability; Thailand rice; water; water scarcity footprint; AWD system; sustainability; Thailand
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Silalertruksa, T.; Gheewala, S.H.; Mungkung, R.; Nilsalab, P.; Lecksiwilai, N.; Sawaengsak, W. Implications of Water Use and Water Scarcity Footprint for Sustainable Rice Cultivation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2283.

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