In the broader sense, water footprints account for the amount of water used to grow or create almost everything we eat, drink, wear or otherwise use.
A new University of Florida web-based tool worked well during its trial run to measure water consumption at farms in four Southern states, according to a study published this month.
The system measures the so-called “water footprint” of a farm. In the broader sense, water footprints account for the amount of water used to grow or create almost everything we eat, drink, wear or otherwise use.
Researchers at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences introduced their WaterFootprint tool in the March issue of the journal Agricultural Systems, after using it to calculate water consumption at farms in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Texas.
The WaterFootprint is part of the AgroClimate system, developed by Clyde Fraisse, a UF associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. AgroClimate is a web resource, aimed primarily at agricultural producers, that includes interactive tools and data for reducing agricultural risks.
WaterFootprint, developed primarily by Daniel Dourte, a research associate in agricultural and biological engineering, estimates water use in crop production across the U.S.
WaterFootprint looks at a farm in a specific year or growing season and gives you its water footprint, Dourte said. With UF’s WaterFootprint system, users provide their location by ZIP code, the crop, planting and harvesting dates, yield, soil type, tillage and water management.
The tool also retrieves historical weather data and uses it to estimate the blue and green water footprints of crop production, Dourte said. Water footprints separate water use into green, which is rainfall; blue, from a freshwater resource; and gray, an accounting of water quality, after it’s been polluted.
Water footprints can be viewed at the farm level or globally.
For instance, if irrigation water is used to grow crops, it is essentially exported, Dourte said.
Once products are shipped overseas, the water used to grow the commodity goes with it, and it may not return for a long time – if ever, Dourte said. That’s a problem if the crop is grown in a region where water is scarce, he said.
But there’s often a tradeoff, he said. Global food trade saves billions of gallons of water each year, as food is exported from humid, temperate places to drier locales that would have used much more water to grow crops, Dourte said.
“The U.S. is a big agricultural producer. Products are exported and along with them, water goes to other countries,” he said.
For example, if you’re growing soybeans, you’re indirectly sending the water that was used to grow the crop. That amounts to about 270 gallons per pound of soybeans, Dourte said.
In addition to soybeans, coffee beans and shirts, if made from cotton, consume lots of water from the growing process to processing to shipping – with most of that water consumption resulting from evaporation and transpiration during crop growth, he said. But understanding the type of water resource being consumed, whether it’s from rainfall or irrigation, makes all the difference in assessing water resource sustainability.
Dourte co-authored the study with Fraisse and Oxana Uryasev, a UF research associate in agricultural and biological engineering.
The WaterFootprint tool can help not just growers, but world water managers as well, he said.
“We think this farm-specific, time-specific water footprinting tool is a unique resource that could be used by resource managers and educators to consider water resource sustainability in the context of agricultural production,” Dourte said. “We usually think of water management locally and regionally. But when you’re accounting for the water footprint of agricultural products, it allows you to see the global nature of that water.”
The Latest on: Water footprint
via Google News
The Latest on: Water footprint
- No Footprint House by A-01on September 5, 2019 at 6:08 am
Along with a crane, virtually all the structural and material components of “No Footprint House” reached its site ... including finishes and connections to the nation’s public water and energy grid ...
- Water Industry Veteran Heiner Markhoff Joins Board of Global Microbial Solutions Leader LuminUltraon September 5, 2019 at 5:43 am
5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Veteran water treatment and waste management ... microbiological control solutions portfolio and geographic footprint," said LuminUltra President and CEO Pat Whalen.
- Industry making strides in reducing carbon footprint, report sayson September 4, 2019 at 8:39 am
In 2018, Greenprint members reported over $2.23 million in water efficiency investments. The data used in the report was submitted to the Greenprint Center by its members and affiliated partners.
- Ecolab Launches ECOLAB3D™ Cloud Platform for Enterprise-Wide Industrial Water Managementon September 4, 2019 at 5:30 am
Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, is leveraging its global 3D TRASAR™ footprint and using the power of advanced digital technology through its ...
- What’s the Carbon Footprint of a Fashion Show? No One Really Knowson September 3, 2019 at 6:14 am
But that’s precisely what I found after typing in: “What is the carbon footprint of a fashion show ... and probably ending with a dumpster of plastic water bottles, press notes, invitations, flowers, ...
- The Drive Behind Water-Cooled Motorson August 31, 2019 at 4:24 am
In contrast, switching to water-cooled motors that do not require external ventilation systems not only reduces capital costs, it also enables a smaller installation footprint – on a ship that could ...
- Metro Bham water bottler secures distribution agreementson August 30, 2019 at 7:24 am
Cardwell said their spring produces 900,000 gallons of water per day, enough to fill 6.5 million bottles, and the next step is for the company to expand its footprint both inside and outside the state ...
- Water Ways Reports Q2 2019 Financial Resultson August 30, 2019 at 6:05 am
Ohad Haber, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Water Ways, commented: “The Company continues to witness development and expansion upon our listing on the TSX-V in the last quarter. We ...
- Instead of plastic water bottles, Boca Raton woman find ways to stock up on wateron August 28, 2019 at 2:25 pm
Many of the responses recommended reusing containers already in the house. Gray said even buying gallons of water can help reduce the plastic footprint since one gallon of water is about eight bottles ...
- Future Returns: Investing to Minimize Water Riskson August 27, 2019 at 2:12 pm
It started by calculating the “water footprint” of its various investment funds—a measure, currently, of water use in high-risk areas by all of its portfolio companies. According to a Ceres case study ...
via Bing News