Using Regional Virtual Water Trade and Water Footprint Accounting for Optimizing Crop Patterns to Mitigate Water Crises in Dry Regions Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The Qazvin Plain is one of the most important crop-producing regions in Iran that are facing water shortage crises. Therefore, agricultural water management has been taken into consideration. In this study, water footprint (WF) accounting and virtual water (VW) trade were employed to determine the current condition of the plain's water resources. The total WF was obtained as 2050 MCM yr −1 , of which green, blue, grey and white WF accounted for 31, 25, 2 and 42%, respectively. Having 44% of the total WF as the sum of the grey and white WFs revealed the low irrigation efficiency and overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. VW, water resources footprint (WRF) and net benefit achieved through export of agricultural crops were about 1020 MCM yr −1 , 783 MCM yr −1 and US$95.2 million, respectively. Twelve scenarios were defined to determine the best crop patterns. Scenarios 9 and 11 were close to the current situation in terms of keeping the cultivated area and net benefit, as they would save 23.3 and 23.8% of WRF, respectively. Furthermore, in these scenarios economic water footprint (WF E ) would improve from 21.5 to 15.9 and 15.5 m 3 US$ −1 , respectively. This study showed that accepting the VW trade concept and using WF accounting for agricultural water planning and management can lead to sustainable development in areas suffering from water shortage. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mojtabavi, S. A., Shokoohi, A., Etedali, H. R., & Singh, V.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • November 2017