University of Twente Student Theses


Water footprint - Assessing efficiency of wheat production in New Zealand

Doornkamp, T.J.L. (2015) Water footprint - Assessing efficiency of wheat production in New Zealand.

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Abstract:Since global water scarcity is increasing, raising awareness on the water consumption of activities, products and processes and the means to make the processes more sustainable becomes more important by the day. One of the methods to get an insight into the water use of a crop is by using the Water Footprint analysis. For this reason the research has been set up, and an assessment was made of the blue and green Water Footprint of wheat of the regions of Kiwitea, Dorie, Chertsey and Wakanui in New Zealand, with regard to the efficiency of the wheat production process. To make the assessment, firstly local as well as global information was gathered to generate input for the consumptive local and global water footprint analysis for the periods of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The information consisted of climatic data, crop specific data, information on the management practices and the soil data. The AquaCrop tool (FAO, 2015) was used to generate the data needed for the Water Footprint calculation, consisting of the simulated yield, applied irrigation and crop evapotranspiration. After that, the same was done for different periods of time, depending on the availability of climatic data for each of the regions. The benchmarks as set by Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2013) were then used as comparison for the found local and global Water Footprints. The Water Footprints that resulted from the analysis with local data are 509 m3/ton for Kiwitea, 538 m3/ton for Wakanui, 514 m3/ton for Chertsey and 422 m3/ton for Dorie. The Water Footprints that resulted from the analysis with global data are 409 m3/ton for Palmerston North, 583 m3/ton for Rakaia and 533 m3/ton for Ashburton. This means that the local as well as the global water footprints estimated in this report perform better than the set benchmark for the 10th percentile of the world of 529 m3/ton. The validation of the model assessing the simulated as opposed to the observed values for the crop yield resulted in the statistical values of a root mean square error of -0.02, a coefficient of mass residual of 0.44, an index of agreement of -15.54 and an average deviation of 12.03%. The overall conclusion is that the wheat production process at the sites used for the research is very efficient, and should give a decent representation of the wheat production in the whole of New Zealand.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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