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Water Footprint of Wheat in Iraq

1
Technical Institute of Shatra, Southern Technical University, Al-Qadisiyah 58001, Iraq
2
Department of Environment, College of Science, University of Al-Qadisiyah, Al-Qadisiyah 58001, Iraq
3
Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030535
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water–Food–Energy Nexus)
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Abstract

The water footprint (WF) is an indicator of indirect and direct fresh water use. In respect of facilitating decision-making processes, WF gives an excellent perspective on how and where fresh water is used in the supply chain. More than 39 million people live in Iraq and, with a growing population, there is a water shortage and a rising demand for food that cannot be met in the future. In this study, the WF of wheat production is estimated for the year 2016–2017 for 15 Iraqi provinces. The WF was calculated using the method of Mekonnen and Hoekstra (2011) and the CROPWAT and CLIMWAT softwares’ crop water requirement option. It was found that the WF in m3/ton was 1876 m3/ton. The 15 provinces showed variations in WFs, which can be ascribed to the difference in climate and production values. The highest wheat WF was found in Nineveh province, followed by Muthanna, Anbar, and Basra. The last three provinces produce little and have a high WF so, in these provinces, wheat can be replaced with crops that need less water and provide more economic benefit. There is an opportunity to reduce the green WF by increasing production from the 4 rain-fed provinces, which will reduce the need for production from the irrigated provinces and, therefore, reduce the use of blue water. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; wheat; CROPWAT; Iraq water footprint; wheat; CROPWAT; Iraq
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Ewaid, S.H.; Abed, S.A.; Al-Ansari, N. Water Footprint of Wheat in Iraq. Water 2019, 11, 535.

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