Investigating the Water Footprint Components of Wheat and Barley in East Azerbaijan Province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Agricultural Management and Development, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of Agricultural Management and Development. Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development. University of Tehran. Karaj. Iran

3 Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


East Azerbaijan province is one of the important provinces in crop production, with the production of 7.28% of the country's wheat and 4.76% of barley, which has an important role in providing these two products. But in recent years, because of multiple droughts, rainfall reduction and irregular distribution of that, the unpleasant condition of runoff water in the basin of Urmia lake, groundwater level drawdown and increasing their salinity, and etc., the agricultural production, especially the production of these two products, is facing with the challenge of water shortage, which has made the water consumption management to be of particular importance, especially in agricultural sector. Accordingly, in this study, using one of the water management tools, namely water footprint, the components of the water footprint of wheat and barley have been investigated in 21 counties between 2007-2017. Based on the results, the average water footprint for the irrigated wheat and barley in the second half of the study period were 2928 and 2888 m3/ton, and for the rainfed wheat and barley were 2998 and 2829 m3/ton, respectively. The average water productivity for both wheat and barley crops was 0.34 kg/m3, indicating that the cultivation of both crops has the same pressure on the province's water resources. In the most county of the province, the share of blue water footprint was more than green water footprint and in general, the share of blue, green, gray, and white water footprints for irrigated wheat was 33.5, 20.6, 12.6, and 33.3% and for the irrigated barley was 34, 20.7, 15.5 and 29.8%, respectively. Also, for both rainfed wheat and barley, the share of green and gray water footprints was 88.3 and 11.7%. Finally, Northeast of the province could be suitable for irrigated wheat and barley cultivation in terms of water footprint index and just on the basis of water consumption management. Bostan Abad county could be suitable for irrigated wheat and rainfed products and the center, west and south of the province could be suitable for wheat and barely products, in terms of saving water resources.


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