Special Issue "Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Olcay Unver
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Interests: water management; water-food-energy nexus; water for food; transboundary cooperation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water scarcity is one of the fundamental challenges to sustainable development and has multiple implications for the sustainability of food and agricultural systems. It can be caused by physical, institutional, economic and infrastructure-related constraints and is linked to pressures emanating from population growth and mobility, socio-economic development, dietary changes, and climate change. The projected 50 percent increase in food demand by 2050 challenges agriculture to be a major part of the efforts to tackle water scarcity. Silo-type approaches that do not take into account intersectoral dependencies have proved to be sub-optimal at best and exacerbating in more typical cases. This Special Issue provides a “water lens” to the options available to policy makers, and lessons learned from tested solutions in agriculture sectors, including plant production, livestock, and aquaculture. The recognition of the issues by countries through SDG commitments and nationally determined contributions within the climate change context provides hope that the policy options will be adopted and the success stories will be upscaled. Selected papers from the 1st International Forum on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (Praia, Cabo Verde, 19-22 March 2019) will be considered for possible publication in the special issue.


Dr. Olcay Unver
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Water scarcity
  • sustainable agriculture
  • food security
  • nutrition
  • migration
  • climate change
  • productivity
  • water-use efficiency

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Article
Urban Water Security: Definition and Assessment Framework
Resources 2019, 8(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040178 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4654 | Correction
Abstract
Achieving urban water security is a major challenge for many countries. While several studies have assessed water security at a regional level, many studies have also emphasized the lack of assessment of water security and application of measures to achieve it at the [...] Read more.
Achieving urban water security is a major challenge for many countries. While several studies have assessed water security at a regional level, many studies have also emphasized the lack of assessment of water security and application of measures to achieve it at the urban level. Recent studies that have focused on measuring urban water security are not holistic, and there is still no agreed-upon understanding of how to operationalize and identify an assessment framework to measure the current state and dynamics of water security. At present, there is also no clearly defined and widely endorsed definition of urban water security. To address this challenge, this study provides a systematic approach to better understand urban water security, with a working definition and an assessment framework to be applied in peri-urban and urban areas. The proposed working definition of urban water security is based on the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal on water and sanitation and the human rights on water and sanitation. It captures issues of urban-level technical, environmental, and socio-economic indicators that emphasize credibility, legitimacy, and salience. The assessment framework depends on four main dimensions to achieve urban water security: Drinking water and human beings, ecosystem, climate change and water-related hazards, and socio-economic factors (DECS). The framework further enables the analysis of relationships and trade-off between urbanization and water security, as well as between DECS indicators. Applying this framework will help governments, policy-makers, and water stakeholders to target scant resources more effectively and sustainably. The study reveals that achieving urban water security requires a holistic and integrated approach with collaborative stakeholders to provide a meaningful way to improve understanding and managing urban water security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Article
An Economic-Based Evaluation of Maize Production under Deficit and Supplemental Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers in Northern Togo, West Africa
Resources 2019, 8(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040175 - 16 Nov 2019
Viewed by 2762
Abstract
While the world population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, in West Africa, it will more than double. This situation will lead to a high demand for cereals in the region. At the same time, farmers are experiencing yield losses due [...] Read more.
While the world population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, in West Africa, it will more than double. This situation will lead to a high demand for cereals in the region. At the same time, farmers are experiencing yield losses due to erratic rainfall. To come up with a sound and effective solution, the available but limited water should be used to achieve high yields through irrigation. Therefore, full and deficit irrigation management strategies were evaluated. The expected profit that can be obtained by a smallholder farmer under a conventional irrigation system in the short-term of investment was also assessed considering rope and bucket, treadle pump, and motorized pump water-lifting methods. The study focused on maize in northern Togo. The framework used in this study consisted of (i) a weather generator for simulating long-term climate time series; (ii) the AquaCrop model, which was used to simulate crop yield response to water; and (iii) a problem-specific algorithm for optimal irrigation scheduling with limited water supply. Results showed high variability in rainfall during the wet season leading to significant variability in the expected yield under rainfed conditions. This variability was substantially reduced when supplemental irrigation was applied. This holds for the irrigation management strategies evaluated in the dry season. Farmers’expected net incomes were US$ 133.35 and 78.11 per hectare for treadle pump and rope and bucket methods, respectively, under 10% exceedance probability. The motorized pump method is not appropriate for smallholder farmers in the short run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Article
Water, Livelihoods, and Migration in SIDS: Climate Change and Future Prospects for Carriacou, West Indies
Resources 2019, 8(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040174 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 3023
Abstract
Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which will have a disproportionate impact on local environments and economies. Whilst there is a growing literature on how Caribbean SIDS can adapt to become more resilient, an issue [...] Read more.
Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which will have a disproportionate impact on local environments and economies. Whilst there is a growing literature on how Caribbean SIDS can adapt to become more resilient, an issue that has received little attention is with regard to migration as an unplanned response. It is recognised that events such as hurricanes and flooding can lead to internal relocation in the short term, but societal responses to droughts through migration have not generally been investigated. This paper seeks to address this by considering the case of the island of Carriacou, part of the state of Grenada. Carriacou, with its small population, limited land area, and local economy historically based on agriculture, has had a high degree of migration. This is in part a response to limited economic opportunities. Environmental stress, manifest through limited water availability, inappropriate land management, and social conditions, is likely to be exacerbated by climate change and variability. Resultant increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts, in the absence of proactive interventions, are likely to result in non-linear migration, both to Grenada itself and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Article
The Water Footprint of European Agricultural Imports: Hotspots in the Context of Water Scarcity
Resources 2019, 8(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030141 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3050
Abstract
This study investigates the Water Footprint (WF) resulting from the agricultural imports of the European Union (EU-28). Import trade statistics were compiled and linked with crop- and country-specific water consumption data and water scarcity factors. Within the study, the virtual water imports of [...] Read more.
This study investigates the Water Footprint (WF) resulting from the agricultural imports of the European Union (EU-28). Import trade statistics were compiled and linked with crop- and country-specific water consumption data and water scarcity factors. Within the study, the virtual water imports of 104 agricultural commodities for the baseline year 2015 were assessed and product and country hotspots were evaluated. It was shown that (a) Europe imported 100 million tons of agricultural goods and 11 km3 of associated virtual irrigation water; (b) the highest impacts of water consumption do not necessarily result from high import amounts, but from water-intensive goods produced in water scarce countries; (c) the largest external EU-28 water footprint occurred due to the product categories cotton, nuts and rice; and (d) the highest share of the EU external water footprint took place in the United States (US), Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Article
Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in Water Resources Management among Smallholder Irrigators in the Tsavo Sub-Catchment, Kenya
Resources 2019, 8(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030130 - 24 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2576
Abstract
The rising demand for food production in a changing climate impacts water resources negatively in semi-arid agro-ecosystems. In the Tsavo sub-catchment of Kenya, this is compounded by a surging population and expansion of cropping as a land use; leading to increased abstraction of [...] Read more.
The rising demand for food production in a changing climate impacts water resources negatively in semi-arid agro-ecosystems. In the Tsavo sub-catchment of Kenya, this is compounded by a surging population and expansion of cropping as a land use; leading to increased abstraction of surface water resources and deterioration of related ecosystem services. The impact of increased abstraction is more profound during water stress seasons when stream-flow levels are low. While water policies have incorporated a requirement for environmental flows, unregulated abstractions persist suggesting an inherent challenge. Drawing on a sample of 279 households, we analysed farmers’ engagement in water resources management and explored how this can inform water resource planning. Seasonal water scarcity and user conflicts were the major challenges experienced by the farmers. Ordinal and logistic regression models show that knowledge, attitude and practices were culture-dependent being impacted by educational attainment, level of income, access to extension and membership to local networks. Attitude and practice were further influenced by land tenure and farm distance to water sources. Since knowledge of water management issues informed attitudes and practices, improved awareness and targeted extension support are necessary in the development and implementation of policy decisions on water resources management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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Correction
Correction: Aboelnga, et al. Urban Water Security: Definition and Assessment Framework. Resources 2019, 8, 178
Resources 2021, 10(9), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10090092 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
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