The impact of green water management strategies on household-level agriculturalwater productivity in a semi-arid region: A survey-based assessment

Afton Clarke-Sather, Xia Tang, Yonglan Xiong, Jiansheng Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of policies that encourage farmers to shift to crops with higher water productivity (CWP) on the farm-level CWP of agricultural systems in a semi-arid region of western China. We combine survey results of farmers' historical cropping decisions from a 2010 survey with estimates of CWP from agronomic experiments analogous to actual cultivation practices in the region to model CWP at the farm level and understand changes driven by shifting crops. Policies designed to replace subsistence agricultural systems with two cash crops; potatoes and maize; resulted in an increase in the CWP of semi-arid agricultural systems of approximately 30% between the years 1990-2010. This change was driven by shifting to crops that have a peak water demand that occurs in the portions of the growing season with the highest rainfall. The results of this article illustrate the potential of shifts in cropping patterns to increase the CWP of agricultural systems in semi-arid regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 24 2017

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • China
  • Crop water productivity
  • Green water
  • Subsistence agriculture
  • Vaporshift

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