Next Article in Journal
Channel Planform Dynamics Monitoring and Channel Stability Assessment in Two Sediment-Rich Rivers in Taiwan
Next Article in Special Issue
Variability in the Water Footprint of Arable Crop Production across European Regions
Previous Article in Journal
Assessment of Optional Sediment Transport Functions via the Complex Watershed Simulation Model SWAT
Previous Article in Special Issue
Water Footprints and ‘Pozas’: Conversations about Practices and Knowledges of Water Efficiency
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2017, 9(2), 83; doi:10.3390/w9020083

Water Savings of Crop Redistribution in the United States

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
2
The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA
3
The Nature Conservancy, New York, NY 10001, USA
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan I-20133, Italy
5
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 30 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint Assessment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1672 KB, uploaded 13 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Demographic growth, changes in diet, and reliance on first-generation biofuels are increasing the human demand for agricultural products, thereby enhancing the human pressure on global freshwater resources. Recent research on the food-water nexus has highlighted how some major agricultural regions of the world lack the water resources required to sustain current growth trends in crop production. To meet the increasing need for agricultural commodities with limited water resources, the water use efficiency of the agricultural sector must be improved. In this regard, recent work indicates that the often overlooked strategy of changing the crop distribution within presently cultivated areas offers promise. Here we investigate the extent to which water in the United States could be saved while improving yields simply by replacing the existing crops with more suitable ones. We propose crop replacement criteria that achieve this goal while preserving crop diversity, economic value, nitrogen fixation, and food protein production. We find that in the United States, these criteria would greatly improve calorie (+46%) and protein (+34%) production and economic value (+208%), with 5% water savings with respect to the present crop distribution. Interestingly, greater water savings could be achieved in water-stressed agricultural regions of the US such as California (56% water savings), and other western states. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; water resources; agriculture; irrigation; nutrition; sustainability water footprint; water resources; agriculture; irrigation; nutrition; sustainability
Figures

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

Davis, K.F.; Seveso, A.; Rulli, M.C.; D’Odorico, P. Water Savings of Crop Redistribution in the United States. Water 2017, 9, 83.

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

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top