Improvements in crop water productivity increase water sustainability and food security—a global analysis

Kate A Brauman, Stefan Siebert, Jonathan A Foley
  • Environmental Research Letters, May 2013, Institute of Physics Publishing
  • DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024030

Global analysis of crop water productivity

What is it about?

We examined global patterns of water productivity — food produced (kcal) per unit of water (l) — consumed for 16 major food crops using spatially distributed, crop-specific water consumption and yield data.

Why is it important?

We found a large range in crop water productivity between crops, climatic zones and within climatic zones. For most crops, we see as much variability in water productivity resulting from non-climate drivers as from climate. If water productivity on only the least productive, precipitation-limited croplands were increased, the impact would be substantial.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Stefan Siebert and Kate A Brauman