Next Article in Journal
Corporate Governance and Capital Structure: Evidence from Sustainable Institutional Ownership
Previous Article in Journal
New Perspectives of Residents’ Perceptions in a Mature Seaside Destination
Open AccessArticle

What is the Redline Water Withdrawal for Crop Production in China?—Projection to 2030 Derived from the Past Twenty-Year Trajectory

by Feng Huang 1,2,* and Baoguo Li 1,2
1
College of Land Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
2
Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (North China), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 100193, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4188; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104188
Received: 9 April 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 11 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation System and Wastewater Engineering)
The Chinese government set up a redline for water resources in 2011, mandating water withdrawals and management criteria to the year 2030. ‘How much water is required to produce sufficient crop to feed a 1.6 billion population in 2030?’ becomes a crucial question to be addressed. The objectives of this study are to: (1) document crop water use and productivity from 1998 to 2017 and (2) define the redline water withdrawal for crop use (REWCU) to 2030. The study inversely inferred REWCU from broadly-defined available water for crop use (BAWCU) and associated parameters. Of all BAWCU, 66.3% had been consumed by crops, in which rainfall-derived water consumption accounted for 71.7% of it, while the irrigation-derived water consumption represented the remaining 28.2%. Of all the rainfall that was available for crop use, 72.1%, or the rainfall depletion rate, had been actually consumed by crop evapotranspiration (ET). Likewise, 55.2%, or the irrigation depletion rate, had been consumed by crops. Crop water productivity (CWP) measured by crop yield per unit ET was computed for six major crop categories. Five broad scenarios have been formulated—business as usual, optimistic, deliberative optimistic, pessimistic, and deliberative pessimistic—under lower, higher, and average population and crop projections, respectively. The projected REWCU was 4166.30 × 108 m3, and the projected agricultural water withdrawal was 4629.22 × 108 m3 to 2030, representing 66.1% of the projected nationwide redline total water withdrawal (RETWW) of 7000 × 108 m3. The study used CWP and BAWCU to inversely infer REWCU since they reflect diverse biophysical and management factors and can be used as reliable proxies. Both methodology and research results may offer references and support when making nation- and region-wide water-for-food decisions by crop and water administrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop water productivity; water footprints; beneficial irrigation efficiency; effective irrigation efficiency; irrigation requirements; crop water requirements; food security; water resource allocation; green water; blue water crop water productivity; water footprints; beneficial irrigation efficiency; effective irrigation efficiency; irrigation requirements; crop water requirements; food security; water resource allocation; green water; blue water
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, F.; Li, B. What is the Redline Water Withdrawal for Crop Production in China?—Projection to 2030 Derived from the Past Twenty-Year Trajectory. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4188.

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.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop