Association of Agrometeorologists

An assessment of water footprint for irrigated rice in Punjab

B.S. SIDHU*, RAKESH SHARDA and SANDEEP SINGH

Water scarcity has become one of the highest risks for environmental and economic security worldwide. The water footprint for rice production, i.e., the total volume of freshwater consumed to produce a unit quantity rice has been estimated for three different agroclimatic zones of Punjab for the years 2000 to 2017. The results revealed that effective rainfall (Peff) improved in later years due to a change in crop calendar,legally enforced by an Act prohibiting the transplanting of paddy before a specified date. During the period of study, minimum crop evapotranspiration (ETc) was 4645 and maximum was ETc of 9511 m3ha-1 during 2014 and 2011, respectively. The green water footprint (WFgreen) for rice varied from 646litreskg-1of rice during low rainfall years (2012) to 1149 litre kg-1 of rice during heavy rainfall (1192 mm) during 2011.Out of a total water footprint (WFtotal) of 2650 litre kg-1, the share of blue water footprint (WFblue) was higher 1804 litre kg-1 (68%), indicating a need to improve on-farm irrigation management to conserve water resources.

Weather parameters, evapotranspiration, water footprint, crop calendar