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ASSESSING WATER FOOTPRINT OF CROPS CULTIVATION IN

SULAYMANIYAH, KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ: TOWARDS AN


IMPROVEMENT OF WATER EFFICIENCY DURING DROUGHT
CONDITIONS

HUSHIAR RAHEEM HAMARASH

THIS THESIS SUBMITTED AS PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE


REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA
BANGI

2015

iv

DECLARATION

I hereby declare that the work in this thesis is my own except for quotations and
summaries which have been duly acknowledged.

Date
10/02/2015

HUSHIAR RAHEEM HAMARASH


P69461

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my special appreciation and my sincere gratitude to my advisor


Dr. Marlia Binti Mohd Hanafiah, you have been a great mentor for me and your guidance
assisted me. I would like to thank you for your advises that encouraging me to finish my
research and for teaching me to thrive as a research scientist. Your brilliant comments
and suggestions have been priceless and will not be forgotten on both research and on my
career. I would especially like to thank environmentalists, friends, and my fellows in the
School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences at University Kebangsaan
Malaysia (UKM), especially Mr. Muhammad Muaz Aminordin. I would next like to give
warmest thanks to my both splendid friends Krmanj Fahmi Abdalrahaman and Ikram
Hassan. All of you have been there to support me for collecting data for my Msc thesis.

I have a deepest gratitude to my family, especially my parents for their dedication


and support during my studies. Words never cannot describe how appreciative I am to my
mother and father for all your sacrifices that youve made on my behalf. Your prayer for
me was what sustained me thus far.

Very special thanks must go to my beloved wife Dlkhosh Fahmi Abdalrahaman


for standing, encouraging and supporting me along of my study. She is my inspiration
and enthusiasm for enduring to increase my knowledge and improve my career forward.

vi

ABSTRACT

Human-induced changes in water consumption are likely to reduce the freshwater


availability. So far, this issue has not been addressed in Iraq using the water footprint
framework. Water footprint is a temporally and spatially explicit indicator considering
location and timing of the volumes of water used. This study estimates the blue and green
water footprint of six crops (i.e. wheat, barley, sunflower, tomato, sweet melon and
chickpeas) in Kurdistan, Iraq. Kurdistan region is located in the Northern Iraq, covering
about 28,817 km2 of area. In this thesis, the water footprint network method and the
CROPWAT 8.0 were used to compute the crop water requirement of crops grown in the
Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan region from 2003 2013 (10 years). It was found that the green
water footprints for growing wheat, barley, sunflower, tomato, sweet melon and
chickpeas range between 12 m3/ton - 533 m3/ton, while the blue water footprints range
between 2 m3/ton - 300 m3/ton. This preliminary study can be used as a starting point to
introduce the wise water governance program by developing and implementing good
water policy as well as to give a new dimension to the concept of water management in
Kurdistan Region. The results also allow the development of recommendations for
improved irrigation practices, mitigation during drought event, planning of irrigation
schedules under varying water supply conditions and the assessment of production under
rainfed conditions or deficit irrigation. The amount of water required in growing crops
can differ depending on the location and climate conditions, therefore future research
should be done to investigate the water footprint of growing crops under different
scenarios. It is also suggested that the sustainable irrigation system and construction
small dams should be provided to reduce the impact of drought, particularly during the
dry season.

vii

ABSTRAK
Aktiviti manusia yang melibatkan penggunaan air secara tidak lestari menyebabkan
berlakunya pengurangan sumber air tawar yang tersedia ada. Setakat ini, isu ini belum
dijalankan di Iraq menggunakan rangka kerja dan kaedah jejak air. Jejak ini ialah satu
penunjuk yang mengambil kira lokasi dan juga masa bagi jumlah air yang digunakan oleh
sesuatu aktiviti. Kajian ini menilai jejak air biru dan hijau bagi enam tanaman (iaitu
gandum, barli, bunga matahari, tomato, tembikai manis dan kacang kuda) di Kurdistan,
Iraq. Kurdistan terletak di Utara Iraq dan keluasannya merangkumi lebih kurang 28,817
km2. Dalam tesis ini, kaedah jejak air dan CROPWAT 8.0 digunakan untuk menentukan
jumlah keperluan air tanaman yang digunakan untuk aktiviti pertanian di Sulaymaniyah,
Kurdistan daripada tahun 2003 - 2013 (10 tahun). Daripada kajian ini, didapati bahawa
jejak air hijau untuk tanaman gandum, barli, bunga matahari, tomato, tembikai manis dan
kacang kuda adalah berjulat di antara 12 m3/tan - 533 m3/tan, manakala jejak air biru pula
berjulat di antara 2 m3/tan - 300 m3/tan. Kajian awal ini boleh digunakan sebagai satu
titik permulaan bagi memperkenalkan program pengurusan air secara mapan dengan
memajukan dan melaksanakan dasar dan polisi air yang baik serta memberi satu dimensi
baru kepada konsep pengurusan air di Kurdistan. Hasil kajian juga membolehkan
cadangan untuk amalan-amalan pengairan yang lebih baik, mitigasi semasa musim
kemarau, perancangan jadual-jadual pengairan di bawah situasi sumber bekalan air yang
pelbagai dan penilaian pengeluaran hasil di bawah musim hujan atau musim kekurangan
pengairan. Jumlah air yang diperlukan untuk pertanian adalah berbeza bergantung kepada
lokasi dan keadaan iklim sesuatu kawasan. Oleh itu kajian lanjutan perlu dilakukan untuk
menilai jejak air dalam pelbagai senario. Ia juga mencadangkan bahawa sistem pengairan
yang mapan dan pembinaan empangan kecil perlu disediakan untuk mengurangkan kesan
daripada masalah kekurangan air, terutama semasa musim kemarau.

viii

Contents

Pages

DECLARATION

iii

ACKNOWLEDGHMENT

iv

ABSTRACT

ABSTRAK

vi

CONTENTS

vii

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

xi

LEST OF ABBRIVIATIONS

xiii

LIST OF SYMBOLS

xiv

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
1.1.

Global Freshwater Scarcity

1.2.

Problem Statement

1.3.

The Importance Of The Study

1.4.

Objectives

ix

CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW


2.1

Global Freshwater Issues

2.2

Drought Events

2.3

Water Resources And Irrigation

11

2.4

Land Resources

16

2.5

Soil

19

2.6

Anthropogenic Effects On Water Resources

21

2.7

Primary Crops Cultivation

22

2.8

Water Management Planning

24

2.9

Water Footprint Approach

25

2.9.1. Blue Water Footprint

26

2.9.2. Green Water Footprint

28

CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY


3.1.

Study Area

30

3.2.

Conceptual Framework

32

3.3.

Water Footprint Analysis

34

3.3.1. Data Inventory

34

3.3.2. Green And Blue Water Footprint of Crop Cultivation

44

3.4.

Reference Evapotranspiration (Eto)

46

3.5.

Crop Water Requirement

47

3.6.

Irrigation Water Requirement

48

3.7.

Effective Rainfall

49

CHAPTER IV RESULTS AND DISSCUSION


4.1.

Climate

50

4.1.1. Temperature

51

4.1.2. Humidity

53

4.1.3. Wind Speed

55

4.1.4. Sunshine

56

4.1.5. Rainfall

57

Water Footprints of the Sulaymaniyah Province

59

4.2.1. Wheat

60

4.2.2. Barley

62

4.2.3. Sunflower

63

4.2.4. Sweet Melon

64

4.2.5. Tomato

65

4.2.6. Chickpea

66

4.3

Assessment of Water Footprint

67

4.4.

Water Scarcity

70

4.2.

CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS

73

REFERENCES

76

APPENDIXES

xi

LIST OF TABLES

Page
2.1

Number of wells for drinking, irrigation and industrial

15

2.2

Available water resources in 2007

15

2.3

Cultivated and uncultivated area (hectare)

17

3.1

The input and output modules of CROPWAT 8.0

37

xii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Number

page

2.1

Affected drought cropland in percentage

2.2

Sources of water for both main rivers of Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq

12

2.3

Precipitation rate in north of Iraq.

13

2.4

Land uses according to crops and vegetables

18

2.5

Utilization of land resources in Iraq

19

2.6

Soil map of Sulaymaniyah province with boundaries of study area

20

3.1

Map of Iraq with enlarges view of the 10 districts of Sulaymaniyah

31

3.2

Framework and flow chart of the water footprint assessment

33

3.3

Input and output flow chart for water footprint system boundaries

34

3.4

Actual vapour pressure

38

3.5

Logarithmic wind speed profile

39

3.6

Sunshine duration according to the latitude

40

3.7

Solar radiation entering the earth

41

3.8

root zone of fluctuation of water content in a period of time

48

4.1

Average climate characteristics in Kurdistan region

51

4.2

Monthly Maximum and Minimum Temperarure in Sulaymaniyah

52

4.4

Various ways of expressing humidity

53

4.5

Average Annual Humidity in Sulaymaniyah from 1973 to 2002

54

4.6

Monthly average humidity in Sulaymaniyah

55

4.7

Average wind speed in the Sulaimaniyah

56

4.8

Average sunshine hours according to months

57

4.9

Average monthly average rainfall rates

58

4.10

Average rainfalls in different cities in Sulaimaniyah province


3

59

4.11

Amount water footprint consumption m per ton wheat

61

4.12

Amount water footprint consumption m3 per ton barley

63

xiii

4.13

Amount water footprint consumption m3 per ton sunflower

64

4.14

Amount water footprint consumption m3 per ton sweet melon

65

4.15

Amount water footprint consumption m3 per ton tomato

66

4.16

Amount water footprint consumption m3 per ton chickpea

67

4.17

Average water footprint consumption m3 per ton of each crop

68

4.18

Average water footprint consumption of each crop in percentage

69

4.19

Average annual precipitation (1980-2011)

71

4.20

Average amount of precipitation according to each governorate in Iraq

72

xiv

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

WF

Water Footprint

KRG

Kurdistan Regional Government

SCS-CN

Soil Conservation Service-Curve Number

WMS

Watershed Modeling System

AMC

Antecedent Moisture Conditions

MWRI

Ministry of water resources- IRAQ

MAWR/KRG

Ministry of Agriculture and Water resources- Kurdistan

SMWR

Strategic management of water resources

NMS

National Mitigation Strategies

DRPS

Drought Relief Planning Systems

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

IOM

International Organization for Migration

CWR

Crop water requirements

GAW

Gross Available Water

WP

Wilted Point

FC

Field Capacity

RO

Run-off

RH

Relative Humidity

Temperature

MMT

Million metric tons

m/ha

Meter Cubic per Hectare

m/ ton

Meter cubic per ton

xv

LIST OF SYMBOLS
ETo

Evapotranspiration

Ra

Extraterrestrial radiation

Rs

Solar Radiation

Kc

Crop coefficients

Critical depletion fraction

ETblue

Blue water evapotranspiration

ETgreen

green water evapotranspiration

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1

GLOBAL FRESHWATER SCARCITY

Freshwater is a very vital element to human and living things, however, is drying up and
experiencing adverse effects in many parts of the world. Report from the United Nations
on world water resource in 2006 indicates that more than 10 billion of the population in
the world is facing lack of enough safe water to support their basic needs, while about
40% of the population experienced limited access to basic hygiene infrastructure (Ahmad
& Chan 2009). Water consumption is mainly categorized into industrial, agricultural and
domestic sectors, as well as incorporated water lost from water evaporation (Brown
2011). It is predicted that 75% of people are facing lack of access to sufficient water
supply in 2015. This proportion of the people will increase for about 95% in 2025 with
the volume of water consumption increases by 25% in 2025 for agriculture, hydropower,
industry, tourism and transportation (Pietersen & Beekman 2006). Furthermore, steadily
growing population and increasingly water consumption for municipalities, industry and
agriculture have influence the availability of freshwater resources around the world.
Demand for the clean water for some countries is more than the capacity of the supply
and it is expected that the problem of water shortage will be faced by some countries in
the near future, especially arid and dry regions (Lalzad 2007).

An increasing demand for food together with a growing demand for energy crops
result in an increasing demand for a competition over freshwater (Gerbens-Leenes &
Hoekstra 2012). This demand has led to the increased concern of water shortages and

deterioration of water quality caused by agricultural practices. The Sulaymaniyah


Governorate that located at the Kurdistan region, Northern part of Iraq is a suitable place
for agriculture, particularly for the wheat and other staple crops due to its fertile land. The
most prominent places located in Sulaymaniyah include the Sharazur and Bitwen plains
and considered as the most fertile plains in the Middle East. Historically, Sulaymaniyah
was the area for producing agricultural production and one of the main suppliers and
producers of wheat and other agricultural products.

1.2

PROBLEM STATEMENT

The population of developing countries has increased faster than developed countries,
thus requires food to meet their mounting population. Many regions are facing lack of
food supply resulting from population growth, inappropriate use of natural resources as
well as environmental impact such as climate change. These negative impacts are likely
to rise and lead to global food shortage and increasing food price in the coming decades,
resulting in famine and poverty rises in the worlds more population. Anthropogenic
activities have negative influences on the quality and quantity of water. There are three
main factors that contribute to water scarcity namely direct water consumption, climate
change and water pollution. These factors have significant impacts on the reduction of
water quantity and quality. Although Iraq is considered to have a rainy weather during
winter season, yet still facing pressure on water supplies. The risks are particularly severe
in the Kurdistan Region located in the Northern part of Iraq where a great numbers of
people are dealing with issue of water scarcity. This issue makes the management and
conservation of their water resources is a real challenge. One of the problems that
contribute to reduction in water availability is due to drought. Drought is prevalent in
almost all regions. Kurdistan is one of the regions that experienced severe drought,
especially in the past years. Currently, the population of Iraq is about 28 million and
agriculture sector consumes about 90% of Iraqs average annual water supply, which
contributes to freshwater scarcity. This issue leads to the suggestion to implement
strategic planning and action for water consumption in Iraq (Lorenz 2008). Although

several projects have been implemented to overcome this issue, however, Iraqs
agricultural activities still facing issues related to high water consumption during the
cultivation phase. Therefore, agricultural activities in Iraq should be analyzed using a
holistic approach called water footprint. Water footprint is one of the sophisticated and
comprehensive environmental assessment methods developed to assess and show direct
and indirect water use of specific product or service (Hoekstra & Chapagain 2008;
Hoekstra & Hung 2005; Hoekstra 2011; Hoekstra et al. 2011).

1.3

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY

Assessment of water availability is important in order to gain a sustainable manner in


distributing this resource to all sectors. Many regions are facing the issue of water
scarcity due to lack of water management. Furthermore, water scarcity and high water
pollution levels can result in poor access to water for meeting basic human needs.
Therefore, the water footprint is an indicator that can be used to measure the direct and
indirect water use (or the virtual water content) of a product. The water footprint concept
was first introduced by Hoekstra & Hung (2002) that accounts separately for three types
of freshwater use (i.e. green water, blue water and grey water). Water footprint is a
temporally and spatially explicit indicator, which considering location and timing of the
amounts of volumes of water used and polluted. This implies that the water footprint
analysis depends not only on the volume of water use, but also on where and when the
water is consumed (Hoekstra et al. 2011).

By providing this information, environmental impacts of water consumption from


agricultural activites can be quantified using water footprint. It is therefore a great
importance to develop a comprehensive water management strategy using a water
footprint model. Therefore, a study to better understand the dependence of supply-chain
of product on scarce water resources is needed. Water footprint analysis enables to show
the direct and indirect water use along a products supply chain. Visualizing all the
hidden water use behind a product or service can better understand the global character of
freshwater and calculate the impacts of water consumption as well trade on freshwater

use. In addition, the water footprint analysis can be used to determine the actual amount
of water used for the entire process of product. The amount of grey water produced from
the products supply chain can be diluted and assimilated by the ambient water of its
surrounding. The water footprint of a product (good or service) is the complete volume of
fresh water used to yield the product, summed over the several phases of the production
chain. The water footprint of an individual or community is the entire volume of fresh
water consumed by the individual or community in direct or indirect way. The indirect
water use refers to the water that is consumed to yield the goods and services used by the
individual or community.

This study can be a starting point to develop and promote the competitiveness of
the agricultural sector in Iraq. Besides that, this research gives positive impact on society
by promoting a greater awareness and reporting transparency of the importance of the
greener and environmentally friendly practices. The strength of this water footprint
research also lies on its capability to apply the most appropriate sustainability indicator
for the assessment of direct and indirect water consumption of agricultural industry,
particularly in Iraq.
1.4

OBJECTIVES

This study embarks on the following objectives:

1.

To develop a conceptual framework for the assessment of water footprint of wheat,


dry bean, sweet melon, sunflower, barley and tomato cultivations in the
Sulaymaniyah province.

2.

To calculate the green and blue water footprints of wheat, dry bean, sweet melon,
sunflower, barley and tomato cultivations.

3.

To assess the efficient water towards mitigation of drought event in Sulaymaniyah


province.

CHAPTER II

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1

GLOBAL FRESHWATER ISSUES

Freshwater is an essential component in all aspects of life (Gao et al. 2014). Freshwater
resources around the world are under pressure due to the growing population and
significant increase in agricultural and industrial demands for water. The total volume of
water on Earth is about 1 400 million km3 but only 2.5% of water on earth is freshwater
(35 million km3). However, freshwater resources are not directly available because most
freshwater occurs in the form of permanent ice or snow, locked up in Antarctica and in
deep groundwater aquifers. The sources of water for domestic use include rivers, lakes,
soil moisture and shallow groundwater basins. The usable portion of these sources is only
about 200 000 km3 of water, which is less than 1% of all freshwater and only 0.01% of a
total volume of water on Earth. Much of this water is available far from human
population, further complicating issues of water use (UNEP 2002; Brown & Matlock
2011).
It is widely accepted that lakes in different parts of the world will respond in
different ways to the pressures imposed by global warming (George 2013). Other
anthropogenic factors that lead to threaten the availability of freshwater include
population growth, lack of rainfall in some areas around the world, competition over
water and water pollution,

and hence affects the livelihoods of human population,

particularly for poor and undeveloped countries (Wandiga & Opondo 2008). Industrial
development, population growth, expansion of irrigated agriculture, rising standards of
living and massive urbanization would be priority for demanding of the water resource

among other criteria in the last century. For instance, land for irrigation has been
increased multiple since 1900 to 2000 and growth of population has rapidly increased
from 1600 million to more than 6000 million, thus have led to seven-fold increase of
water resources consumption (Morrison & Gleick 2004).
A number of factors or local conditions can be related to the scarcity of water
such as technical and institutional capacity, topography and financial resources for
maintaining water availability. Furthermore, water will become more expensive resource
in poor countries due to pressure of population, industrial development and massive
urbanization. Low-income countries have limited access to freshwater due to the fact that
population growth in these areas is growing rapidly. Moreover, scarcity turns out when
there is an insufficient of the supply of freshwater in those areas where it is desperate to
support human being and their health, endure food production and essential ecological
well-being. Physical and economic are two types of water scarcity which physical water
scarcity can be observed when physical deficiency of water occurs in a place. While
economic water scarcity defines a condition in which resources are sufficient but where
inadequate infrastructure and financial capacity is barrier of accessing the water (Audu
2013).
Iraq is depending on the precipitation as runoff water in the rivers and store as
groundwater. However, those watersheds are located outside Iraq which fed these rivers
across Iraq. This affects the population in the entire Iraq due to their high dependency to
the main water resource from Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Many dams are created across
those rivers in neighbors countries like Turkey, Iran and Syria. For example, water
scarcity in The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have been exacerbated in recent years due to
the construction of dams, as well as exploiting water from both rivers coincided with
severe drought in the region (Jury &Vaux 2007; Wilson 2012).
Kurdistan receives a great amount of groundwater due it strategic location at
mountainous area, except certain areas near to middle and southeast are lack of much
rainfall. Otherwise other part of Iraq has experienced of less than 150mm of rain per year
and high evaporation because of climate characteristics which is dry and semi-arid.
Recent study shows water availability was estimated at 2,400 m/year per person (Iau

2012). However, in another study showed that water availability per capita is less than
half of average each year, which is only around 1,482 m3 per capita (Khayyat 2008).
Furthermore, reservoirs, lakes and rivers in Kurdistan is encountering of the minimization
of surface water to critical level because of lack of management during drought and other
disasters. In addition, shortage of water has already happened in the Kurdistan region and
the effect of the water scarcity has been worsening since the beginning of 21 century.
Zakaria et al. (2013) showed that the annual harvested runoff at Sulaymaniyah
Governorate, Kurdistan Region of Iraq has suffered from the drought period during the
seasons of 2007 to 2009 that affected the human and economic activities of the region.
Macro rainwater harvesting (Macro RWH) is one of the techniques that can ensure water
availability for a region having limited water resources. This technique is based on Soil
Conservation Service-Curve Number (SCS-CN) method and the Watershed Modeling
System (WMS) that was used to estimate the runoff. Rainfall records of Sulaymaniyah
area for the period of 2002 to 2012 were studied and an average season was selected
(from 2010 to 2011). The results of the application of the WMS model showed that about
10.76 million m3 of water could be harvested. The results also showed that the quantity of
the harvested runoff was highly affected by rainfall depth, curve number values,
antecedent moisture conditions (AMC) and the area of the basins.

2.2

DROUGHT EVENT

Drought can be defined as a period that precipitation is lower than normal level or no
significant precipitation occurs over extended period of time in the year or may endure to
longer, which renders to a water shortage for some activities, environmental sectors or
groups. The effect of drought is dependent on the water deficit, meaning that lack of
precipitation, increasing demand for water and human activities, which may intensify the
impacts. Drought can be classified in terms of impacts to four different categories,
namely agricultural, hydrological, socio-economic and meteorological. In another
definition, the scientific consensus on drought defines this phenomenon as the condition
of insufficient moisture caused by a deficit in precipitation over a period of time. It is

worsened when demanding for the water effect on the existing water. The difficulties
connected with this phenomenon occur during the deficit of precipitation. Therefore, the
influences of a water deficit area complicate function of water source and water use over
time. Existing water sources embrace surface water (lakes, rivers and stream flow), soil
moisture, ground water and reservoir storage.
Drought has caused deteriorate of environmental conditions and inadequate clean
water and insufficient of appropriate sanitation in many regions rendered a major number
of rural inhabitants to displace to find sustainable drinking water and livelihoods. In
recent years, Iraq has lost about 100,000 hectare per annum of agriculture land uses
because of desertification and soil salinization. Furthermore, cropland has been reduced
nearly 40% of crop coverage and livestock were endangered during the drought occurred
from year 2007 to 2009. The condition leads to displace of 20,000 rural inhabitants in
search of sustainable access to potable water and livelihoods. This situation will be
continuing for further degradation in the main resources and burden on the Iraqs
infrastructure. Moreover, more than 31% of Iraqs land has already been desert (Frenken
2009). Mismanagement of water resources and improper using of land for agriculture
have exacerbated drought conditions due to those factors lead to increasing
desertification land, high soil salinity, declining fertility and sand storm. In other word,
desertification is increasing to high rates with about 39% of the Iraqs surface and nearly
54% under threat. For instance, in recent years Kurdistan and other part of Iraq has
experienced an increase of sand storm and vast dust as a result of insufficient moisture
and less vegetable cover. Figure 2.1 which created by FAO (2009) shows the variation of
effected cropland due to drought.

Figure 2.1 Affected drought cropland in percentage.


source: FAO (2009)

It shows five categorization of effected cropland in Iraq which reveal some part in
the north like Erbil, Kirkuk and Ninewa are affected more severe by 4656%, while some
part are less affected by 4 to 5% such as Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk due to drought.
Furthermore, there are a significant difference between some stations in the Erbil and
Sulaimaniyah, for example, in the 1973 central Sulaymaniyah, Dokan and Darbandikhan
in the Sulaymaniyah province were above normal conditions which those stations have a
moderate rainfall. However, central Erbil was under pressure of drought which those
stations do not receive sufficient rainfall. Later in the 1998 to 2001, most remarkable
drought event occurred in the whole regions in the Middle East even in the turkey and
Jordan.

10

Drought conditions have still continuing in the Middle East countries since it has
started in the seventieth of last century. These countries are facing incredibly lack of
precipitation such as Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria and do not have adequate water storage.
This situation leads to water shortage for irrigation affecting on the agricultural sector
and consequently now they declared a drought threat on the livelihood.

The most

significant impact on the regional precipitation patterns is global warming which causes
to the reduction of rainfall rates. Decreasing of precipitation is coincidence to increasing
demand to water for the agriculture sector, domestic and industry uses which has
exacerbated the drought conditions. Meanwhile, construction of dams alongside rivers
diminishes water resources for the downstream users and cause shortage water
availability in the downstream regions. These factors lead to people rely on the
groundwater especially by digging wells and storing water in the tank (Hagan 2007).
There are different kinds of drought based on the intensity of the drought
conditions. Meteorological drought is defined of the occurrence and duration of the
dryness that it is related to the amount of precipitation rates. It consider as a drought
when precipitation is below the average or normal in an extended period of time that it
creates natural shortages of available water. This type of drought is common in the
Kurdistan due to lack of precipitation for five months or more.
Agricultural drought occurs when sufficient amount of moisture does not exist in
the air to support growing crop production or grass. It relates to several characteristics of
meteorological (or hydrological) that concentrates on the amount of precipitation, the
disparity between potential and actual evapotranspiration, diminishing of groundwater
and reservoir levels and insufficient soil moisture.
Hydrological drought is associated with the impacts of periods of precipitation
shortfalls on surface water supply such as rivers, streams, lakes, aquifers and reservoirs.
Although all kinds of drought are linked to deficiency of precipitation, this type is more
likely noticed if precipitation falls to the normal level based severity of hydrological
drought on the basin and watershed scales. Furthermore, hydrological drought may also
happen if demanding for water grows up during precipitation shortfalls.

11

These components of drought can be mitigated by prediction, impact assessment


and response as well as monitoring. The most effective prediction tools for the
understanding of drought are climate studies and statistical analysis. Monitoring is the
most significant phase during drought which includes all information on the ground and
from satellite observation. Ground information is a composite of rainfall, crop conditions,
water availability and weather condition. Impact assessment assists in understanding the
drought characteristics in the basis of the demographics, severity of drought, land-use
type, water quantity and quality and persistence of stressed conditions. In the last phase,
drought can be mitigated by response which includes enhancement drought monitoring,
improvement of legislation, effectiveness planning, decreasing of water demand,
conservation, improvement of water polices and enhancement of public awareness and
education.

2.3

WATER RESOURCES AND IRRIGATION

12

Water availability in the Kurdistan region comes from many tributaries, streams,
groundwater, springs, lakes and reservoirs, fed by rainfall and snow melting. Currently,
Iraq is mainly dependent on the surface water and groundwater. The surface water
includes Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their tributaries come from the upstream
countries as shown in Figure 2.2 (MWRI 2010). The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are
originating from Turkey and across Iraq by nearly 1000 km and 1300 km, respectively.

Figure 2.2 Sources of water for both main rivers of Tigris and Euphrates in iraq.
Source: Mwri ( 2010)

The area that dominated by Tigris River basin is 253 000 km which is consists of
54 % of the total river basin in Iraq. The average annual runoff is approximately 21.33
km. The Tigris tributaries are located in the north and northern east of Iraq which some
of Tigris River are on the Kurdistan region, especially Sulaymaniyah province:

- The Greater Zab, which comes from Turkey, then flows to Kurdistan region then
confluence with the Tigris. The most significant stream consists of 62 % of the
total Tigris river basin.

13

- The Lesser Zab, which comes from Islamic Republic of Iran and which Dokan
Dam is constructed with 6.8 km in the Sulaymaniyah province. The river basin is
about 21 475 km, which annually yielding 5.07 km of water due to the
construction of Dokan dam.
- The Al-Adhaim generates about 0.79 km of water at its confluence with the Tigris
Rivers. It is an irregular stream which aims of the stream to flash flood.
- The Diyala, which originates from the outside country, comes from Islamic
Republic of Iran. Darbandikhan Dam is constructed in the Diyala stream in the
Darbandikhan city in the Sulaymaniyah province. It provides about 5.74 km of
water at its confluence with the Tigris Rivers.
According to the Iraqs precipitation map, average annual rainfall differs from the
north to the south of the region the range from 250 mm in the south Erbil to 1200 mm in
high mountainous, which located in Turkeys border (Omer 2011) ( See Figure 2.3).

Figure 2.3 Precipitation rate in north of Iraq.


Source: Omer (2011)

Mediterranean climate occupies the entire Kurdistan region which is characterized


as rainy and cold climate in winter and hot and dry during summer. Meanwhile,
mountainous area has moderate climate in the summer. Rainfall occurs in the late of

14

October endures until early April, while 5 months are dry without occurring rainfall.
However, snow falls in the January and February in the mountainous area which remains
until summer season then commences to melting and become feed for ground water and
rivers. Average annual rainfall is difference due to disparity of topography. The region
can be divided into three part based on rainfall rates, first, those areas rainfall exceeds
over 500 mm, second, some areas have a moderate rainfall between 350 mm to 500 mm
and third, those areas are located in the south and southwest have low average of rainfall
which less than 350 mm. However, agricultural land relies on the rainfall forms nearly
37.2% of the cultivation land, otherwise irrigation land forms only 5.3% of the total
cultivation land (MAWR/KRG 2012).
A proper water management plans should be highlighted in order to exploiting
water efficiency such as expanding of agricultural areas by storing water in small dams in
uncultivated areas or reclamation and rationalizing irrigation system by deployment of
the water availability in the region and using ground water in effective way by digging
wells. Despite, there are several ways to obtain sufficient water and the importance of
ground water should not be neglected due to this sector because it has provided the fresh
and drinkable water. For example, statistics show that number of exploited wells were
about 19,448 wells in the 2006, which 79.7% of them are used for drinking water, 18.3%
devoted for agricultural sector and the rest were used for industrial sector and research
purpose (Mawr/Krg 2012). Tables 2.1 and 2.2 outline the number of wells for all
purposes and the amount of water availability in the Kurdistan region in 2007
(MAWR/KRG 2012).

15

Table: 2.1 Number of wells for drinking, irrigation and industrial.


Source: Mawr/Krg (2012)
Governorate
Wells
Wells
Wells
Wells used for Total Percentage
used for

used for

used for

agricultural

drinking

irrigation

industry

research and
extension

Dohuk

1,122

235

235

1592

8.20

Sulaimaniyah

12,022

1,524

13,546

69.60

Erbil

2,370

1,800

85

55

4,310

22.20

Total

15,514

3559

320

Percentage

79.70

18

1.70

Rivers

19,448
0.30

100

Table 2.2 Available water resources in 2007:


Source: Mawr/Krg (2012)
Length (km)
Amounts of
Inside

Outside of

annual water

Kurdistan

Kurdistan

(billion m )

region (%)

region (%)

The Khabur

160

2.2

42

58

The Great Zab

392

14.32

58

42

The Little Zab

400

7.07

64

36

Awa Sipi (White

230

0.7

100

Serawan

384

586

41

59

Total

1566

3015

59.8

40.2

water river)

Updated water management plan is necessary for the Kurdistan region because of
unexpected water shortage that may occur in the future. Turkey is now constructing dams
to meet its irrigation water requirement as well as Syria has started to develop the
countrys irrigation projects, which both countries seek to achieve cultivation of million
hectares of agricultural lands. These projects will be directly affect Kurdistan region from
water shortages because most of Kurdistans drainage basins are shared with Turkey
through Tigris River. It is estimated that 40 % of water deficit occurs in Tigris River in

16

2016. This circumstance requires a wise plan to deal with by providing an ideal water
management and developing water resource projects and land protection to minimize the
damages that may happened caused by water scarcity (MAWR/KRG 2012).
Although Kurdistan does not have serious problem with water availability due to
adequate rainfall, negotiations should be made for sharing water with upstream countries
by compromising to avoid of water scarcity in the future. As Kurdistan region had
experienced in 2005 to 2009 with the following conditions that had adverse impacts on
the vegetable productions and wildlife:
1) Drought and instability weather conditions.
2) Water deficit in the Tigris River and its tributaries.
3) Poor water management in existing dams.
4) Inadequate awareness related efficient water among people.

2.4

LAND RESOURCES

17

The total Iraqs land is nearly 44 million hectare and approximately 12 million hectare of
its land is utilized for agricultural production. It means agricultural land consists of
almost one of fourth or 27% of Iraqs land. The reason is most areas of country is
considered desert, lack of rainfall and mountains or rocky area which only the mountains
area can be used for grazing grounds for the domestic animals.

The current total area of Kurdistan is approximately 3.4 million hectare (Table 2.3).
Agricultural land includes rainfed areas and irrigation that consists nearly half of regions
areas which is 1.5 million hectare. In this area, Sulaymaniyahs land has been utilized
292,000 hectare for agriculture, whilst more than half of total areas has still not cultivated
yet. Furthermore, there is a huge disparity between rainfed land and irrigation, which
rainfed land represent nearly 87.6% of total agricultural area, while irrigation land is not
developed and contributed in small areas of Kurdistans land, which only consists of
4.34% (MAWR/KRG. 2012).

Governorate

Table 2.3 Cultivated and uncultivated area (hectare).


Source: Mawr/Krg (2012)
Total area
Rainfed
Irrigated
Total
lands (ha)

Lands (ha)

(ha)

cultivated

Uncultivated
lands (ha)

lands (ha)

Sulaimaniyah

423,019

232.700

59,299

291,999

131,020

Erbil

1,514,120

580,645

45,635

626,280

887,840

Dohuk

931,398

254,892

46,650

301,542

629,856

Germyan

802,070

300,151

15,822

315,973

486,103

Total

3,670,613

1,368,388

167,406

1,535,794

2,134,819

Percentage

100

41.84

58.15

Sulaymaniyahs land is cultivated by 22.5% of total cultivated area is considered


low in comparison to other provinces in Kurdistan. This is due to the fact that
Sulaymaniyah is located in mountains area, with Erbil is high in cultivation area. Most

18

importantly, highest cultivation areas are utilized for wheat production, which consists of
half of cultivation area (Figure 2.4).

Figure 2.4 Land uses according to crops and vegetables


Source: Omer (2011)

Most of agricultural land farming has been cultivated and harvested in a single crop
per year. Moreover, farming land differs from the north to the south of Iraq, for example,
north Iraq has experienced in winter crops due to sufficient rain, it is usually primary
grain which is planted in the autumn and harvested in the late of spring. Most of rainfed
areas are devoted for planting wheat and barley as the most substantial crops. Otherwise
in the irrigation areas, land is devoted to a single crop which is summer crops

19

predominate. It is known that a little multiple cropping that consists of vegetables is


located in the south and south west of country. However, field crops are cultivated in
significant portion of the agricultural Iraqs land (MAWR/KRG 2012). Figure 2.5 shows
the land utilization in Iraq.

Figure 2.5 Utilization of land resources in Iraq


Source: Omer (2011)

2.5

SOIL

Types of soil in the Kurdistan are classified into eight types (Figure 2.6). The most vital
sorts encompass the brown-reddish soils and brown soil. The brown-reddish soils can be
seen and found in the limited rainfall areas (200 mm - 350 mm). This type of soil is
recognized as low biological activity that causes low light vegetative cover. Otherwise,
brown soil has P.H < 7.0 with less than 2 % of organic matter which include weak

20

alkalinity; all those make a suitable situation for yielding various crops such as wheat,
potatoes, sunflower, barley, tomato and corn.

There are many disparities in the depth of soil in this study due to Sulaymaniyahs
huge area which starts from mountain areas to the plain and valley areas (Figure 2.6). The
depth of soil in the north and northeast is thin and shallow due to generation from the
original rocks. Although the soil characteristic in the mountain is not contain essentials
for utilizing for agriculture, but depth and slope can be used as a natural pasture by the
people (Kahraman 2004). Unlikely, valley and plain areas which are situated in the
southern part are the substantial areas for agriculture due to its soil generates from the
dark brown, black and chestnut soils which these types of soil are characterized as the
optimum for agriculture activity. The type of soil in semi-mountain areas is known as
most plain areas with brown and red soil structure and is crucial source for attaining food
security (Kahraman 2004). Although Sulaymaniyah has ideal soil for producing crops,
however, crop productivity has been declining due to salinity which has occurred because
lack of subsurface drainage and excessive irrigation.

Figure 2.6 Soil map of Sulaymaniyah province with boundaries of study area
Source: Zakaria (2013)

21

2.6

ANTHROPOGENIC EFFECTS ON WATER RESOURCES

Anthropogenic activities have a negative influence on the quality and quantity of water
resources. There are three main factors contributing to water scarcity namely direct water
consumption, climate change and water pollution. These factors have significant impacts
on the reduction of water quantity and quality. Water can be divided in two major types,
in-stream use and off-stream use. In-stream use consists of hydrological power,
swimming and boating that contribute to the reduction of water quality. Another type of
water consumption is off-stream use where water is withdrawn for household use,
industry use, irrigation, livestock watering, thermal and nuclear power and will not
recover to the source again. However, water consumption can be described by classifying
into two ways, water intake is the amount of water withdrawal and water discharge is the
volume of returned water to the source. The disparity between water discharge and intake
is consumed water (Dellasala et al. 2011).
Water discharge Water intake = Water consumption
Scientifics bargain on global warming that it is becoming stronger and more
intensity every day. The indication shows that human caused global warming is
inevitably going to be deteriorated due to vast competitions among industrial countries.
Climate change and global warming cause many changes such as change in precipitation
pattern, increase temperature rate and changing of volume of precipitation. The
magnitude and significant of the results of the rise in atmospheres temperature make the
situation that a wide international concern formed to reduce the global warming factors.
Meanwhile, the conflict deteriorates the climate change due to economic competition,
food security and an influx number of migration. According to the recent study that the
conflicts and instability in overpopulated areas are worse in quantity and quality water,
agricultural products and food security, influenced by modern civilization on
environment and urban hydrological problems (Lorenz 2008).
Increasing air temperatures are anticipated to have adverse impacts on water
resources including decreasing snow pack and raising evaporation, which affects the
volume water availability in seasons (Lobell & Field 2007). The occurrence of water
shortages is expected in the summer that induces to decrease soil moisture levels and

22

severe agricultural drought. Water availability declines to meet crops in summer


irrigation and water deficits will occur earlier in the growing season, particularly in
drainage basins that lack of reservoirs. Furthermore, increasing surface temperatures are
anticipated that precipitation received as rain in winter, with a decreasing proportion of
snow form.

2.7

PRIMARY CROPS CULTIVATION

Northern Iraq is a suitable area for growing crops such as wheat, tomato, barley,
chickpeas, sunflower, sweet melon, etc. In Iraq, wheat, tomato and barely are considered
as staple crops, while others are planted for the commercial purpose, such as sunflower,
chickpeas and water melon. Barley is the oldest crops in the world that people were
depending on for their life and it is believed that the cultivation of barley is over 18000
years ago in Middle East and North Africa, where the barley native places. Barley prefers
cool area and sometimes dry area during its flourishing season. Moreover, barley has
significant impact on soil protection from erosion. It can be grown in semi-arid areas
because it is salt tolerance and does not require deep soil for its flourishing. It is also
dependent on the less rainfall because it is drought resistant crop that only needs 390 mm
to 430 mm of rainfall. Nevertheless, barley tolerates high temperature that needs an
average temperature

ranges from 5C to 27 C annually (Vulgare 2009). Barley

production is expected to decrease in Iraq because of the adverse weather conditions. It is


estimated that the reduction is around 40% of cultivated barley areas that rely on the
spring rainfall. The amount of harvested barley in 2012 was around 710,000 metric tons
in Iraq. However, areas for the cultivated barley also decline relative to high price and
more domestic consumption of wheat, particularly in Kurdistan region. It has serious and
noticeable impact on the livestock (John Schnittker 2012).

Wheat is different from other crops due to its great capacity for adapting in
almost different soil types and weathers which it is grown from temperate climate to dry
and high rainfall areas and from warm humid to dry cold environments. Wheat is the
most substantial cereal crop that people use as a staple food for bread and the most

23

obvious crops which imported and exported between countries. Wheat has many species
depend upon seed qualities and requirements for its growth. Most of the areas are devoted
to wheat production because wheat is a crucial resource for the Iraqis people. Yield
wheat production has fluctuated during a past decade because of severe drought and not
enough water for irrigation. Nevertheless, wheat production has been recently surged and
Iraqis government has prepared a plan to increase its production for 2.18 million metric
tons (MMT). Irrigation is currently a controversial issue in the northern Iraq because they
dependent on the irrigation to yield wheat, especially in Kirkuk area. People consume
considerably wheat production (flour) for nearly 9 kg per person per month. Therefore,
Iraqis government and private sectors imported wheat for about 3.95 million metric tons
(MMT) in year 2011 and 2012 (John Schnittker 2012). Demand for wheat as the main
resource for food in Iraq will be surged approximately 4.6 MMT because of increasing
population. Sunflower is one of the crops than can be cultivated in the Kurdistan which it
is also a universal and vital oil crop. Germination of sunflower occurs on the March and
harvesting in July. It requires a plenty of water for germinating, which it dependent on
the late rainfall of the year. Some factors present in the growing of sunflower such as
moisture, soil water, soil depth and solar intensity. Furthermore, sunflower can be planted
in temperate weather and humidity; even it is superior to sorghum which tolerates
prolonged dry periods (Unger et al. 1976; Meinke et al.1993). Fortunately, the compatible
weather and soil of Sulaymaniyah make it suitable area for cultivation of sunflower and
the most suitable region in the Middle East and Iraq for cultivation of sunflower, since it
is getting more sunshine during the day that is required for its flourishing.

2.8

WATER MANAGEMENT PLANNING

Agricultural sector requires considerable amount of water availability, however,


freshwater resources is unevenly distributed due to local conditions. This issue is getting

24

worse especially in developing countries due to other factors such as climate change,
water pollution and population growth. Therefore, water allocation techniques have been
proposed as alternatives to manage and distribute water supply to all sectors properly.
(Yazdi et al 2013) in their study of optimal water allocation in irrigation networks based
on real time climatic data shows that water allocation strongly depends on the real time
climatic data for irrigation needs. Their study was carried out to compare between water
allocation systems and traditional practice using long-term average climate data in the
Northwest of Iran.
Lorenz (2008) outlines strategic water planning and action for Iraq that need to
be implemented. Agriculture sector in Iraq is consuming about 90%t of Iraqs average
annual water supply, thus contributing to the freshwater depletion. Assessment is done in
the whole IRAQ by IOM (2012) stated the measurement indicates that vulnerable people
have faced extremely hard life because of lack of drinking water and low purity, also
quality of water is very poor. Furthermore, quantity of water is insufficient to provide
water for the people. It leads them to think about other alternative for their daily
consumption. People rely on the tanks in both sorts (by trucks and keep in the home) for
home usage, drinking and irrigation. It is reported that rainfall has been decreased for a
considerable amount compared to the previous years. Reduction of precipitation has led
to high pressure on the water, especially in the North of Iraq. Moreover, IOM
recommends to the north of Iraq to utilize Kariz (Underground Aqueducts or
subterranean aqueducts; kahrez in Persian) for drinking and irrigation because it is exist
in the North. Farmers have to change from the traditional irrigation and rely on new
methods. Kurdistan government has been encouraged to rehabilitate Kariz to maintain
water for many people.
Kundzewicz & Kowalczak (2009) demonstrated that some of the arid countries
get nearly all their water from outside by means of shared rivers. The water resources of
Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, and Israel rely on their neighboring countries.
Several countries successfully share international rivers, lakes and aquifers within the
framework of river commissions. However, the potential of water conflict is increasing
as population in water-stressed areas continue to grow and the demand for water

25

increases to improve their standard of living by having better sanitation system. In arid
areas, water scarcity is likely to be exacerbated by climate change and other
anthropogenic activities (Arranz 2006).
Shetty (2006) in his study outlines the dominant water management in the Middle
East and North Africa for food security and agriculture. The study indicates that the
North Africa and Middle East (NAM) region is one of the most water scarce regions in
the world, with a regional annual average of 1,200 m3 per person. Strategic management
of water resources (SMWR) will become increasingly important in mitigating the impact
of drought on the economies of the region in the future. National Mitigation Strategies
(NMS) and Drought Relief Planning Systems (DRPS) need to be developed more
systematically than at present in accordance with each countrys agro-ecological
specifications. Many countries in the world are now having water scarcity issue and
groundwater extraction is introduced to overcome this situation. Another option is
desalination of seawater where the NAM region countries also accounts for about 60 %
of the worlds desalination capacity but this option is restricted to the major oil-exporting
countries. Major water resources in the region are shared between countries lying both
within and beyond the region. However, the region is characterized by high population
growth rates, large and rapidly increasing food deficits, highly variable income levels
both within and between countries, and limited natural resources, particularly arable land
and water. Most of the region falls within the arid and semi-arid rainfall zones, where 60
% of the total NAM population lives (Roudi-Fahimi et al. 2002).

2.9

WATER FOOTPRINT APPROACH

The concept of water footprint (WF) was introduced by Hoekstra (2003). WF can also be
a measure unit of any well-defined group of consumers (e.g. an individual, a family, a
city or a nation), producers (e.g. a public organization, or private enterprise or an
economic sector) and geographically delineated areas (e.g. a river basin, or a country).
The WF accounts for fresh water consumption in terms of water quantity (depletion) as
well as the quality of the water (degradation) (Allan 2003). The process of water footprint
is usually expressed in water volume per unit of time. However, when it is divided by the

26

quantity of products that resulted from the process, it is then expressed as water volume
per unit of product. Water footprint is a technique to measure the total amount of water
that is used or consumed by mankind. Other amount of water that has not been used yet
which consist of surface or fresh water and groundwater flows are left in the sustainable
ecosystem. Nevertheless, it is important in a certain time to understand that the amount of
water that recharges groundwater reserves and fresh water that flows through a river is
always limited to a certain amount and not equally available at all times. Rivers and
aquifers are used in industrial purposes, irrigation for agricultural activities and
households.

Water footprint is a holistic approach that considers the whole production chain of
direct and indirect consumption of freshwater (Hoekstra 2003). Water footprint is
characterized

as gross volume of freshwater that is utilized to produce goods and

services consumed by individual, community, country, organization (Chapagain &


Hoekstra 2008).

Holistic assessment determines the explicit impacts on water as a

consequence of human and commercial activities. It determines the distinct between


rainwater absorbed by marketable crops and that absorbed by indigenous flora (Burger 2013).
Water footprint should be implemented because it provides a good water management for a
long time planning, especially those countries that encountered problem with water scarcity.

2.9.1

Blue water footprint

The blue water footprint refers to the volume of surface water or groundwater consumed
per unit of time or per unit of product (Hoekstra et al. 2009). The process of water
footprint is usually expressed in water volume per unit of time. However, when it is
divided by the quantity of products that resulted from the process, it is then expressed as
water volume per unit of product. The most common term in blue water footprint is
consumptive water use which refers to one of the following:
1- Water evaporates or transpires in to the whole plants (Hoekstra and Chapagain et
al. 2011).

27

2- Water is fixed or incorporated in the product (virtual water).


3- Water does not return to the same catchment area or sea from where it has been
mined, but it returned to a different area or sea (Aldaya et al. 2012).
4- Water does not return in the same period as it was mined, for instance, it is
withdrawal in dry period and returned in rain or wet period (Hoekstra et al. 2009).

Evaporation is most significant component related to others that mentioned in the


above, a production in water footprint focusing only for evaporation. Consumptive use is
commonly associated to blue water footprint that refers to evaporation. Nevertheless,
when the specific case requires much more attention is commensurate with other three
components such as water footprint of national consumption and water footprint of a
nation, looking these cases require enough attention of spatial-temporal explanation of
analyzing water footprint. For instance, conducting water foot print assessment for
Kurdistan differ from time to time, implying the assessment of water footprint in dry
season is different with wet season. It is crucial to understand that consumptive water use
mean that water lost in the system because same amount of water that has evaporated will
return into the hydrological system but at different location (Aldaya et al. 2012; Usman
2011). Therefore, water is a renewable resource, but it does not mean that we use water
as unlimited source, in drought, semi-drought and dry seasons for example, no one can
use water more than is available (Hoekstra et al. 2009). The blue water footprint
measurement can be a great asset to determine the amount of water that is available for
using or consuming in a certain period consumed (i.e. not immediately returned within
the same drainage basin area or catchment). By this system, it provides a technique to
measure the total amount of water that used or consumed by mankind. Nevertheless, it is
important in a certain time to understand that the amount of water that recharges
groundwater reserves and fresh water that flows through a river is always limited to a
certain amount and it is not equally available at all times.
Rivers and aquifers are used in industrial purposes, irrigation for agricultural
activities and households. In dry periods for example, one cannot consume more water
than is available (Hoekstra et al. 2009). Therefore, the blue water footprint measures the

28

amount of available water in a certain period that is used or consumed (i.e. not
immediately returned within the same catchment area). By this process, it provides the
total amount of water consumed by humankind. The unused groundwater and fresh
surface water flows are therefore left to sustain ecosystems.

2.9.2

Green water footprint

The green water footprint can be estimated or defined as the gross amount of rain water
used during the production process and crops growth. It is mainly related to products
based on agriculture and forestry (crops and woods). Moreover, in the measurement of
green water consumption, a set of experimental formulae or crop models are utilized to
estimate the evapotranspiration based on climate, soil and crop characteristics data. It is
mainly related to products based on agriculture and forestry (crops and woods) (Hoekstra
et al. 2009). It is explicitly referred to the gross rain water evapotranspiration from
plantations and fields (Hoekstra et al. 2009).
It is important to observe that communities that depend on streams and rivers for
their daily purposes may need to move during drought event to support their need and for
agricultural activities. Moreover, economic and social impacts and peoples activity differ
between rainy and wet seasons. In the measurement of green water consumption, a set of
experimental formulae or crop models are utilized to estimate the evapotranspiration
depend on climate, soil and crop characteristics data (Hoekstra et al. 2009). The climate
of Iraq varies from season to season, cold and wet during winter while hot and dry during
summer. Furthermore, rainfall rate patterns are different from north to south of Iraq due
to topography which northern part is mountainous area and southern part is lower and
desert area.
Continual pressure on the fresh water has been exacerbated the issue of water
scarcity. Growing population, changing their consumption patterns and increasing their
demand for water lead to water scarcity and pollution in many countries in the world.
According to WWF (2012), water that is available in a river basin is defined as the
environmental flow requirements minus the natural runoff in the catchment. The latter is
defined as the quantity, quality and timing of water flows that are required to sustain

29

freshwater resources and estuarine ecosystems, as well as the human livelihoods and
well-being that depend on those ecosystems. However, levels of water scarcity per river
basin are defined as the ratio of the total blue water consumption in the catchment to the
blue water availability. In addition, water pollution levels per river basin are defined as
the ratio of the total grey water effluent for a given pollutant in the catchment to the
actual runoff from that catchment. Chapagain & Tickner (2012) suggested that water
footprint assessment is an effective approach for promoting awareness of global water
challenges among audiences and decision makers in industry and government. It can also
links

the

relationships

between

water

consumption,

economic

environmental risks and social and business practice (Waterlow et al. 1998).

development,

30

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

3.1

STUDY AREA

Sulaymaniyah is the largest province in the Kurdistan region situated in the northwest of
Iraq as well as border to Iran. Kurdistan region is made up of three provinces, i.e.
Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Duhok. This study focuses on Sulaymaniyah province that
consists of 10 municipalities such as Rania, Pshdar, Dukan, Sharbazhir, Penjwin,
Halabja, Darbandikhan, Kalar, Chamchamal and central Sulaymaniyah (Figure 3.1). The
Latitude and Longitude of Sulaymaniyah are 353340 N and 452614 E, respectively.
Altitude of Sulaymaniyah is about 850 above sea level and the total area size is 17,023
km, which formed 3.9 percent of Iraq. The size is disparity between districts with
Darbandikhan that is regarded as the smallest district in Sulaymaniyah province, while
Chamchamal and Sulaymaniyah are the largest districts.

31

Figure 3.1 Map of Iraq with enlarges view of the 10 districts of Sulaymaniyah
governorates. source: (Zakaria et al. 2013)

Population in the Sulaymaniyah is higher as compared to other provinces


implying that Sulaymaniyah is the most urbanization region in Iraq. According to the
statistic, the population in Sulaymaniyah (this relies on the hospitals for the proportion of
death and born, plus proportion of population last census) is approximately 2 million
people. The density in Kurdistan region especially Sulaymaniyah area is due to its good
condition that suitable for living. However, this situation contributes to other factors such
as safety issue, insufficient drinking water and hot-dry weather. This situation leads to the
water deterioration and shortage in the Sulaymaniyah due to rising requirement for clean
water resources.
Sulaymaniyah topography is considered as a mountainous area and gradually
mountainous towards the border with Iran. Furthermore, Sulaymaniyah encompasses
mountains and plains, both features have an optimal advantage for the Sulaymaniyah.
Mountains are best for the source of water by keeping water as groundwater and snow for

32

a long time. Plains are located between mountains where lands are fertile and suitable
places for agriculture and plantation. Many crops are supported to flourish by virtue of
weather.

3.2

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

This study was carried out in four different phases. The most important phase is scope
and goals of the study, which reveal clearly the aim of the study. Second phase is data
inventory, which show the type of parameters and data collection. The third phase refers
to the data analysis or impact assessment. The last phase is results interpretation, which
shows the result and findings that obtained from the research. Figures 3.2 and 3.3 show
the framework and flow chart of the phases involved in the water footprint assessment of
selected crops in the Sulaymaniyah province.

33

Research Methodology
Objectives and Scope of the study

Data inventory

Data analysis

CROPWAT 8.0

Crop

Soil

-Planting date

- The rate of absorption

-Harvesting date

- Soil moisture

-Kc values

-Soil type

- Evapotranspiration
(penmann-monteith
method)
-Crop water requirements
(effective rainfall and
irrigation requirements)

Irrigation schedule

Climate

Calculation of the

- Distribution

- Temperature (maximum and

green and blue water

-Amount water

minimum)

footprint

consumption

- Humidity
- Wind speed
- Sunshine
Interpretation

Figure 3.2 Framework and flow chart of the water footprint assessment

34

CULTIVATION

INPUT

OUTPUT

Rainfall

CROPS

Evapotranspiration
BLUE WATER
Precipitation

+
GREEN WATER

GREEN
WATER

BLUE WATER

Irrigation

Groundwater
Figure 3.3 Input and output flowchart for water footprint system boundaries.

3.3

WATER FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS

3.3.1 Data inventory

35

All data are provided by the Kurdistan Meteorological Department and Ministry of
Agriculture and Water Resources, Kurdistan. Kurdistan Meteorological Department
obtained climate data for 28 years from (1973 to 2002), except of 1991, we could not find
data due to the conflict and expelled Kurdish people to Iran and Turkey. Climate and
geographical data consist of temperature, humidity, sunshine, rainfall and wind speed
from Agro-Meteorological Department and the average temperature were recorded
between 0C (January) to 43C (July). Topography of Sulaymaniyah district varies from
the north east to the south west. In the north east is much higher and temperature is low
because for a long time snowfall remaining regarding to the south west which the altitude
is a much lower and temperature is high. Annual Rainfall is between 300 mm to 895 mm
in the district and high precipitation value was recorded in January 198 mm in the past 10
years. The Kurdistan region located in the Middle East because that the average sunshine
duration is 8.16 hours/day in summer and 5.5 hours in winter. Crop data are provided by
Sulaymaniyah silo for 10 years (2003 to 2013) which consists of six crops such as wheat,
barley, sunflower, tomato, sweet melon and chickpea.
CROPWAT 8.0 Model calculates number of parameters such as rainfall, climate
date, rate of evapotranspiration, cropping pattern and crop, which these parameters were
required for water footprint analysis. This model was developed by FAO to carry out
standard calculation for crop water consumption and rate of evapotranspiration, depend
on inputs of crop databases and climate. Penman-Monteith method was used to determine
rate of evapotranspiration. Rainfall deficit for irrigation water needs are estimated by
using statistical analysis based on long-term rainfall records. This analysis is useful to
determine the contribution part of effectively rainfall in cover crop water requirement
(CWR). Decision support system of CROPWAT 8.0 has several main functions such as:
.
1- To determine reference evapotranspiration, crop water requirements and crop
irrigation requirements.
2- To recommend planning for irrigation timetables under various management
conditions and water supply.

36

3- To measure drought effects, rainfed production and efficiency of irrigation


practices

CROPWAT 8.0 is defined as a computer programme that calculates crop


water requirements and irrigation needs from crop and climatic data. Moreover,
the program consents the alteration to calculate water supply scheme for varying
crop and irrigation plans for various management conditions. The major purpose
of CROPWAT 8.0 is to measure crop water needs and irrigation plans according
to data that provided by the consumers.

CROPWAT 8.0 requires data on evapotranspiration (ETo) for the


calculation of crop water requirements (CWR). CROPWAT 8.0 permits the
consumer to either measure ETo values or to input data on sunshine, humidity,
temperature and wind speed, which CROPWAT 8.0 can calculate ETo by
utilizing the method of Penman-Monteith. Rainfall data are also required to
measure effective rainfall data as input for the crop water requirement and
calculation of scheduling. Lastly, soil and crop data are required for the
calculation of crop water requirement for computing irrigation plans. CROPWAT
8.0 not solely determines CWR and crop schedules as well as it evaluate a scheme
supply, which is essentially the integrated crop water requirements of various
crops, each crop with its own planting date that called cropping pattern. This
programme is structured into eight modules, which includes calculation modules
and data input modules. This consents the consumer that calculates crop water
requirements, scheme supplies and irrigation schedules to merging various crops,
climatic and soil data (Table 3.1).

37

Table 3.1 The input and output modules of CROPWAT 8.0


Data
Climate

Input
-

Output

Monthly average of Minimum


and

Maximum

relative

Reference
Evapotranspiration

Crop water requirement


and irrigation requirement

Actual crop
Evapotranspiration

Soil moisture deficit

Estimate yield reduction


due to crop stress

Irrigation scheduling

temperature,

humidity,

sunshine

period, wind speed and

Crop

Monthly Rainfall data

Kc, crop description, maximum


rooting depth and percentage of
area covered by plant

Soil

Initial soil moisture condition


and available soil moisture

Irrigation

a)

Irrigation schedule criteria

CLIMATE

The Climate module is mainly used for data input, which requires information on the
meteorological station related to the effect on the climate such as location, altitude,
latitude and longitude, together with climatic data that can be included on a monthly,
daily or decade basis. Concerning climatic parameters, CROPWAT 8.0 requires data on
humidity, temperature, sunshine and wind speed.

- Temperature
Accordance with agrometeorological standards, CROPWAT 8.0 refers to a measurement
of air temperature at 2 meters above the ground. Temperature should be given in degree
Celsius (C). CROPWAT 8.0 can function with minimum and maximum temperatures
(default) or with mean temperatures if minimum and maximum temperatures are not
available. Daily maximum and minimum were temperatures are observed during the 24-

38

hours period. Whereas for longer periods, such as months or decades, maximum and
minimum temperatures are acquired by division of the total of the respective daily values
by the number of how many days in the proposed period.

- Humidity
In CROPWAT 8.0, air humidity can be divided in to two types such as actual vapour
pressure or relative humidity. Relative humidity refers to the degree of saturation of the
air, as the proportion of the volume of water in the ambient air and the maximum quantity
of water it could hold at the same temperature. Relative humidity fluctuates during a day
between a maximum proximate the sunrise and a minimum about early afternoon, in
relation with temperature variations. Relative humidity is simply addressed in percentage
(%). Figure 3.4 demonstrates the changes of the relative humidity over 24 hours for a
persistent actual vapour pressure.

Figure 3.4 Actual vapour pressure denotes the vapour pressure deployed by the water in
the air.
- Wind speed
Wind speed changes with the height at the lowest level of the surface, which it is slowest
and increases with the height level. To adjust wind speed data acquired from mechanisms

39

at altitudes other than the standard or ordinary height of 2 m, a logarithmic wind speed
profile might suitable to be used (Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5 Logarithmic wind speed profile


- Sunshine
Sunshine refers to the length of the daylight without clouds and shade from high
mountains. Excepting of the cloudiness, it relies on the position of the sun and is
therefore a consequence of latitude and day of the year. It is addressed as hours of
daylight (hours), as a percentage of sunshine (%) or as fraction of daytime (fraction).
Figure 3.6 displays how daylight is variety throughout the year in connection with
latitude.

40

Figure 3.6 Sunshine duration according to the latitude.

- Radiation
CROPWAT 8.0 can estimate the solar radiation receiving soil surface based on the
availability of climate data (Figure 3.7). The extraterrestrial radiation (Ra) refers to the
radiation reached at the top surface of the earth's atmosphere on a horizontal, based on
data, latitude and daytime. Solar radiation (Rs) measured in the CROPWAT 8.0
calculation denotes the amount of extraterrestrial radiation receiving a horizontal surface
on soil surface. It reckons the portion of extraterrestrial radiation reflected, absorbed or
scattered by the dust, atmospheric gases and clouds. Soil surface reflected part of the
solar radiation and absorbed other amount of solar radiation. Solar radiation is addressed
in unit of MJ /m2/day.

41

Figure 3.7 Solar radiation entering the earth

b) CROP
Crop planting and harvesting dates, embracing wet and dry Crop coefficients (Kc)
include four phases of crop cycle. Initial phase runs from planting date to about 10%
ground cover. Crop development is the second phase, which runs from 10% ground cover
to effective full cover. Effective full cover occurs at the beginning of flowering for many
crops. Third phase is known as the mid-season, which runs from effective full cover to
the initiation of maturity. The start of maturity is often manifested by the beginning of the
leaf drop, ageing, yellowing of leaves. Final phase is the end season runs from the
commencement of growth to harvest or fully developed. The computation for Kc and ETc
is anticipated to end when the crop is experiences leaf drop, dries out naturally, or
harvested.
The crop module is basically data input requiring parameters such as planting
date, crop coefficient, rooting depth, critical depletion factor and response of yield.
Planting date is typically decided from climatic conditions (for example, at the inception
of spring when temperature reaches a lowest rate in moderate climates or starting of the
rainy season in tropical climates). It also differs based on local agricultural systems. It is
possible, to choose different planting dates for the same crop and the similar
climatological conditions. This is expedient for the study of variant cropping patterns and

42

the computation of scheme water supply programmes. The Crop coefficient (Kc) is
affected frequently by crop type and to a trivial extent by soil evaporation and climate.
Meanwhile, the Kc for a given crop differs over the phases of crop growing, since crop
height, leaf area and ground cover alter as the crop develops. CROPWAT 8.0 requires Kc
values for early stage, mid-season phase and harvest stage. Kc coefficient during the
growth and late season phases are interpolated. During the initial stage, the leaf extent is
small and evapotranspiration is most noticeable in the form of soil vaporization. Hence,
the Kc during the early period is great when the soil is saturated from irrigation or rainfall
and is less when the surface of soil is dry. In the development stage, as the crop grows
and shades more and more to ground, evaporation becomes more limited and
transpiration steadily becomes the main process. At mid-season stage, the Kc reaches its
highest value, while at final season stage the Kc coefficient at the ending of the final
season stage reveals crop and water management practices. It reaches high value in this
stage if the crop is properly irrigated until harvesting of crop. Otherwise the value of Kc
is small if crop is if the crop is allowed to dry out in the field before harvesting, as a
consequence of less efficient stomata conductance of leaf surfaces.
Definition of rooting depth is the capability of the crop to gain benefit from the
soil water reservoir. In CROPWAT two values are vital for the estimate of the rooting
depth over the flourishing season and rooting depth of early stage ordinarily taken as 0.25
- 0.30 m, indicating the effective soil depth from that the little seed plant abstracts its
water.
The Critical depletion fraction (p) refers to the critical soil moisture level where
initial drought stress occurred that influencing crop evapotranspiration and crop
producting. Values are addressed as a fraction of Gross Available Water (GAW) and
typically varied between 0.4 and 0.6, with lesser values taken for susceptible crops with
finite rooting systems under high evaporative conditions, and deep rooting crops have
higher values as well as low evaporation rates. Besides, the fraction p is a consequence of
the evapotranspiration weight of the atmosphere.

43

c)

SOIL

Soil is another component in the CROPWAT 8.0 which demonstrates the characteristics
of penetrating depth rate and remaining water moisture. The soil module is vitally data
input; following parameters are required:
1- Gross available water (GAW) shows the total volume of availability of water to
the crop. It is recognized as the variety in soil moisture content between Field
Capability (FC)1 and Wilted Point (WP)2. There is no availability of water for the
plants above the FC degree as water cannot be carried against the power of
gravity and it naturally reduces as deep penetration. Likewise, water underneath
WP level cannot be removed by plant roots as it is reserved at great pressures
within the soil matrix. GAW relies on structure, organic matter content and
texture of the soil. It is addressed in mm per meter of soil depth.

2- High infiltration rate. The high infiltration rate, shows the infiltration of water
depth can penetrate in the soil over a 24-hours, as a consequence of rain or
irrigation intensity, slope class and soil type. The High infiltration rate has the
similar value as the soil hydraulic conductivity under saturation. The High
infiltration rate permits an estimation of the Run-off (RO), which it occurrs when
rain intensity surpasses the infiltration capacity of the soil. High infiltration rate is
expressed in mm per day.
3- Maximum rooting depth. Although the genetic characteristics in most cases are
critical issue to determine rooting depth of the crop, sometimes certain soil layers
distribution and the soil may prevent the maximum rooting depth.

Field Capability (FC) is the volume of water which a well-drained soil takes against
gravitational powers, that is, the volume of water remaining when downward drainage
movement has obviously reduced. It is addressed as mm per metre of soil or in a
percentage.
2

The Wilted Point (WP) refers the water content in the soil at which plants constantly

wilted. It is expressed as mm per metre of soil or in a percentage.

44

4- Initial depletion of soil moisture. The depletion of initial soil moisture depicts the
dryness of the soil at the commencement of the flourishing season.
3.3.2- Green and blue water footprint of crop cultivation

Water footprint is the amount of water that being used for producing a
particular crop or good. Previous studies have been carried out to measure the
quantity of the water footprint in different crops and products (Chapagain &
Hoekstra 2004; Oki & Kanae 2004; Chapagain & Hoekstra 2003; Chapagain &
Hoekstra 2007; Hoekstra & Chapagain 2008, Hoekstra & Hung 2005; Chapagain
2006). Measures of varieties crop products are essential because agricultural and
forestry sectors consume large amount of freshwater. Water footprint was carried
out for flourishing a crop, especially wheat crop production in the Sulaymaniyah.
This method can be used for both types of annual and perennial crops. In this
study, water footprint modeling consists of two categories namely green and blue
water footprint.
The green water footprint of growing a crop or tree (WFgrow,green,
m3/ton) is calculated as the green component in crop water use (CWUgreen,
m3/ha) divided by the crop yield (Y, ton/ha). Green water refers to the volume of
rain water used in crop cultivation and was calculated by:

CWU green
WF grow green= [volume/mass]
Y
The blue component (WFgrow,blue, m3/ton) is calculated in a similar way as the
green water footprint. Blue water refers to the volume of surface and groundwater used in
crop cultivation and was calculated by:

45

CWU blue
WF grow blue= [volume/mass]
Y
A total water footprint (blue and green) was calculated by:
/ = , +, ()
Yields for annual crops can be taken as given in yield statistics. In the case of
perennial crops, one should consider the average annual yield over the full lifespan of the
crop. In this way, one account for the fact that the yield in the initial year of planting is
low or zero, while yield are highest after some years and yield often go down at the end
of the life span of a perennial crop. For the crop water use, one needs to take the average
annual crop water use over the life span of the crop.
The green and blue components in crop water use (CWU, m3/ha) are calculated by
the accumulation of daily evapotranspiration (ET, mm/day) over the complete growing
period:
lgp

CWU

= 10

[volume/area]

=1

lgp

CWU

= 10

[volume/area]

=1

In which ETgreen represents green water evapotranspiration and ETblue refers to the
blue water evapotranspiration. The factor 10 is meant to convert water depths in
millimeters into water volumes per land surface in m3/ha. The summation is done over
the period from the day of planting (day 1) to the day of harvest (lgp stands for length of
growing period in days). Since different crop varieties can have substantial differences in

46

the length of the growing period, this factor can significantly influence the calculated
crop water use. For permanent (perennial) crops and production forest, one should
account for the evapotranspiration throughout the year. In order to account for differences
in evapotranspiration over the full lifespan of a permanent crop or tree, one should look at
the annual average of evapotranspiration over the full lifespan of the crop or tree. The
green crop water use represents the total rainwater evaporated from the field during the
growing period and the blue crop water use represents the total irrigation water
evaporated from the field.

3.4

Reference evapotranspiration (ETo)

The evapotranspiration rate from a reference surface is known as the reference crop
evapotranspiration, which expressed as (ETo). The impression of ETo was presented to
assess the evaporative demand of the atmosphere separately of crop development,
management practice and crop type. When available of water is abundant available at the
reference crop evapotranspiration surface, soil factors are not affecting ETo. Connection
of the evapotranspiration procedure to a particular surface can offer a reference to which
evapotranspiration from other surfaces can be connected. It eliminates the need to outline
an independent evapotranspiration degree for each crop and phase of growth. ETo values
calculated or measured at various locations or in different seasons are analogous as they
represent to the evapotranspiration from the similar reference surface.
ETo shows the evaporating weight of the atmosphere at a particular time and
location of the year and without considering the soil factors and crop characteristics. The
FAO Penman-Monteith method is suggested as the method for delineating ETo. the
motivation of selection of this method is due to the values is provided by this method
that consistent with actual consumption data of crop water worldwide, as many years
evaluation reports has been done in accordance with this method in the scientific
literature. Moreover, processes have been thrived for utilizing this method even with
finite climatic data.

47

3.5

Crop water requirement

The volume requirement of water to compensate the evapotranspiration depletion from


the cropped field is explained as crop water requirement. Even though crop
evapotranspiration values under standard conditions (ETc) and crop water requirement is
alike, crop water requirement represents to the volume of water that requires to be
provided, while crop evapotranspiration represents to the volume of water that is depleted
through evapotranspiration.
Evapotranspiration can be either estimated from a field by means of a model
according to empirical formulas. Estimating evapotranspiration is costly and
extraordinary. Commonly, one measures evapotranspiration indirectly by means of a
model that deploys data on soil properties, climate and crop characteristics as input. many
alternatives can be shown to crop flourish and model ET. EPIC model is a method that
frequently used (Williams et al. 1989; Williams 1995), as well as in grid-based form is
available (Liu et al. 2007). CROPWAT 8.0 is another model that thrived by the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO 2010b), which is according to the
method defined in Allen et al. (1998). The AQUACROP is another model, particularly
thrived for monitoring crop flourish and ET under water-deficit conditions (FAO 2010e).
Two options are offered for Calculation of evapotranspiration in The CROPWAT
8.0 model: i) the first option is irrigation schedule option (including the prospect to
determine actual irrigation supply in time) and ii) the second option is crop water
requirement option (supposing optimum conditions). It is suggested to apply the first
option whenever possible, because it is appropriate for both ideal and non-optimum
thriving conditions and due to it is more precise (as the underlying model encompasses a
dynamic soil water balance).
Integrating directly the crop resistance, air resistance and albedo factors in the
Penman-Monteith approach calculates crop evapotranspiration from climate date. As
there has still been a considerable insufficient of information for various crops, for the
estimation of the Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) uses the Penman-Monteith method.
empirical test determined the proportions of ETc/ETo, it is called crop coefficient (Kc)
which are utilized to relate ETc to ETo, hence crop evapotranspiration can be expressed

48

as ETc = Kc * ETo. This is characterized as the crop coefficient approach to determine


crop evapotranspiration. Variances in leaf anatomy, aerodynamic properties, stomatal
characteristics and even albedo affect ETc to differentiate from ETo under the identical
climatic conditions. Due to disparities in the crop characteristics throughout its
flourishing season, Kc for a given crop alters from planting till harvest.

3.6

Irrigation Water Requirement

Irrigation is be required when an area faces lack of rainfall for compensating water lost
by evapotranspiration. The main aim of irrigation is to utilize water at the right time and
in the right volume. Future irrigations can be planned by calculating the soil water
balance of the root zone on a daily basis, depth and the timing. In the Figure 3.8, the root
zone is shown by means of fluctuation of water content in which presented in a container.

Figure 3.8 Root zone of fluctuation of water content in a period of time

3.7

Effective Rainfall

Effective rainfall for agricultural production refers to the amount of rainfall effectively is
used by crops because all rain is not available for agricultural products, which some rain
lost through such Deep Percolation (DP and Runoff (RO). The amount of infiltration of

49

water depend on the several factors such as slope, soil type, initial soils water content,
crop canopy and storm intensity. Field observation is an optimum way and accurate
method to determine effective rainfall. Runoff influences of rain to be effective because
it prevents of absorbing water by soil, as well as small amount of falling precipitation is
not effective due to quickly lost to evaporation.
Two options are given to be chosen in the input of monthly rainfall consist the
average dependable rainfall data and actual rainfall data. Dependable rainfall should
carefully be selected based on appropriate values, depend on separately carried out
statistical analyses of long term rainfall records. CROPWAT 8.0 offers the prospect of
several methods to be used to calculate the effective rainfall such as dependable rainfall,
fixed percentage of rainfall, USDA soil conservation service method and empirical
formula. Moreover, it offers the possibility of calculations of irrigation to be carried out
without considering rainfall.

50

CHAPTER IV

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1

CLIMATE

Climate is a prominent natural factor that influences directly on the regions around the
world. Each region has been characterized in different sort of climate which human
activity and wildlife relies upon on their life. The climate of the study area in the
Kurdistan Region is Mediterranean and characterized by hot and dry in summer and cold
and wet in winter (semi-arid continental). The summer months range from June to
September with the highest temperature recorded in July and August (39oC 43oC) and
can be up to the maximum (45oC) (Figure 4.1). During spring season the mean
temperatures range from 13oC - 18oC in March and 27oC - 32oC in May. Autumn season
is characterized by dry and mild with average temperatures between 24oC - 29oC in
October. Average maximum temperatures during winter season are between 7oC - 13oC
and average minimum temperatures range between 2oC - 7oC. The average relative
humidity for summer and winter seasons are 25.5% and 65.6%, respectively, while the
evaporation reaches 329.5 mm in summer and 53 mm in winter. The average wind speed
in winter is 1.2 m/sec and about1.8 m/sec in summer time. Sunshine duration reaches 5.1
hour in winter time and 10.6 hour in summer. The driest month is August with 0 mm and
most participation falls in February with an average of 146 mm.

51

Figure 4.1 Average climate characteristics in Kurdistan region

4.1.1

Temperature

Temperature has a significant role in climate change and based on this factor, which plant
and trees can be grown in specific region can be determined. Variety in temperature
causes of growing different type of plants from region to another around the world, even
plants differentiate between seasons in the same region due to changing of temperature.
Furthermore, temperature is an important factor affecting all aspects in the ecosystem.
The average temperature in the study was (19.5) from 1973 to 2002. Although
the main temperature is moderate as compared with the other regions, high temperature
was recorded in July. As well as January is considered low temperature throughout the
year, which minimum and maximum temperature were 1.5 and 40, respectively during
the mentioned period (Figure 4.2). Figure 4.2 shows that temperature starts to increase
and reach to the highest in July, then commences to decline rapidly until lowest
temperature in January. Moreover, from November to March and sometimes until April
is wet and cold because rain and snow fall during the cold season, while summer is dry
and hot season which begins in early May to September. Some factors can be considered

52

that the impact on the climate in all the regions such as the position according to latitude
and longitude, altitude according to sea level and the wind direction or masses.
Furthermore, those factors also effect on the quantity of precipitation. Moreover,
Sulaymaniyah is located south west of Asia in latitude (35.51 N) and longitude (45.31 E).
Therefore, this area is considered the disparity temperature between seasons due to
sufficient sunshine according to the solstice and equinox.

40
38
Min Temp C
Max Temp C

36
34
32
30
28
26
24
22
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

10

11

12

Month

Figure 4.2 Monthly Maximum and Minimum Temperarure in Sulaymaniyah

The range of temperature from one year to another fluctuates somewhat because
of Sulaymaniyah city is under pressure of Mediterranean climate. Average maximum and
minimum temperature are slightly different from one year to another, which minimum
average temperature recorded 1.5 C to 27 C during one year, while maximum average
temperature is 9 C in winter to 41 C in summer.

4.1.2

Humidity

Water can be found in everywhere in the earth and also one of the particle formations in
the air meaning that water is a pervasive element. Therefore understanding the concept of
humidity is imperative and more related to the water vapor and moisture. Humidity

53

describes the amount of water when it vaporizes into the air. There are many terms of
humidity such as absolute humidity and relative humidity (Figure 4.3), which absolute
humidity means the actual water vapor per humid volume of air. This is measured as a
mixing ratio (gm water vapor/kg of dry air), a partial pressure (vapor pressure/hPa or
millibars) and dew point. While relative humidity is the most popular measurement that is
used to measure of humidity. RH is defined as the ratio of the amount of water vapor in
the air relative to saturation amount of air that can hold at a given temperature. It is
measures as a percentage value.

Figure 4.3 Various ways of expressing humidity. Source (Bharatt 2011)

Figure 4.4 illustrates the annual average rate of exiting humidity in 1973 to 2002.
Annual average humidity fluctuated between 35 percent to 50 percent. Most noticeable
increasing humidity was in 1988, while dramatic decline happened in 1973. Although the
annual average humidity is less than 50 percent, some months of the year are more than
70 percent.

54

60

Percentage (%)

50
40
30
20
10

1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002

Year
Figure 4.4 Average annual humidity in Sulaymaniyah from 1973 to 2002

Figure 4.5 shows that humidity declines rapidly from January to August, after that
start to increase and reach the peak in December and January. Average monthly humidity
were recorded in January and December (70 percent); otherwise, August is considered as
a remarkable low humidity during a year with only 20 percent. In general, humidity and
temperature are contrary to each other, when temperature is high, humidity is low
because cold air cannot hold water vapor more than warm air holds. This means all
winter months are considered as high humidity and low temperature and summer months
is also recorded low humidity and high temperature in Sulaimaniyah.

55

70
65

Humidity %

60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

10

11

12

Month

Figure 4.5 Average monthly humidity in the Sulaymaniyah province.


4.1.3

Wind Speed

Wind contributes a substantial influence in many aspects such as agricultural sector,


erosion level, meteorological impact, humidity rate and participation. The wind direction
is from the west, south and south east to north east and north in Kurdistan region due to
sub-tropical high pressure belts and Mediterranean anticyclones occupying Kurdistan
region in summer. Meanwhile, it is different in the winter which the direction of wind is
in two difference way, first it moves from east to north east because of Mediterranean
cyclones that invades the region, second it moves towards north in Kurdistan region due
to Arabian sea cyclones which this wind brings large amount of precipitation because it
passes over Parsian Golf (Anderson et al. 1998; Husami 2007).
Figure 4.6 shows that the wind speed values differ in almost all the months. The
highest wind speeds are recorded in the June, July and August which are 186, 195 and
175 km/day respectively because Kurdistan are under sub-tropical high pressure belts and
Mediteranean anticyclones which is characterized as a dry wind. While lowest wind
speeds are observed in the November and December which is 98 km/day due to
Mediterranean anticyclones and Arabian Sea cyclones that characterized as cold and wet.

56

190
180
Wind km/day
170
160
150
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

10

11

12

Month

Figure 4.6 Average wind speed in the Sulaymaniyah province


4.1.4

Sunshine

The north part of Iraq does not receive much sunshine because of topography and clouds
during the day. North Iraq, especially Sulaymaniyah is mountainous area which it
prevents to get sunshine and clouds especially in the winter affects hours of the sunshine.
There is a big difference of getting radiation from solar between seasons. It can be seen in
Figure 4.7 that sunshine increases regularly in the January to August from 4.5 to 10.5
hours. Then it starts to decrease until December in the same way which increased from
January. Hence, when earth rotates around the sun causes the length of the day and night
relies on the time of the year and the latitude of the location. The shortest sunshine occurs
around December, 21 (winter solstice) and the longest sunshine happens around June, 21
(summer solstice) (Yeow 2002). It means sunshine reaches the earth only 4.5 hours in
the winter because of the climate conditions which almost all the day clouds presents in
the sky. It prevents much of radiation to transmit to the earth. Another issue of getting
less sunshine due to the limited hours of the day which the duration is only 10 hours in
January. Unlikely summer is richest season for getting sunshine due to the day that is
longer and sky is clear. The duration of the day during summer months is 14 hours and
the only prevention is topography especially in the morning and evening hours.

57

10
Sun hours
9

10

11

12

Month

Figure 4.7 Average sunshine hours according to months in the Sulaymaniyah province
4.1.5 Rainfall
It can be seen in Figure 4.8 that the volume of rainfall in January and February are 117
mm and 133 mm, while June to September is the dry months. Kurdistan is dominated by
the Mediterranean climate which is described as hot, dry and more sunshine in the
summer sub-tropical high pressure cells that making rainfall impossible in the summer
months, except certain occasional thunderstorms. While winter is wet, cold and less
sunshine which all the rainfall occurs in the winter months, although the amount of
rainfall is not exactly similar but most rainfall occurs in January and February. The
planting crops starts coincidence with commencing rain months and harvesting ends in
the dry months.

58

130
125
120

Rain mm

115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

10

11

12

Month

Figure 4.8 Average monthly rainfall rates in the Sulaymaniyah province


The following Figure 4.9 shows during five years in the sulaimaniyah province
which consist 10 municipals the most rainfall year is 2002, whereas the less amount of
rainfall occurs in 2006 because 2006 to 2010 is worse drought condition. Penjween
reaches the most volume of rainfall; likewise Kalar and Chamchamal are considered as
the driest area in the Sulaymaniyah province because of the location is far from high
mountain area and near to plains. It can be observed the amount of rainfall receives to
central Sulaymaniyah city is moderate. Penjween, Qaladze and Ranya receive the highest
amount of rainfall in the year, for example, in 2002 Panjween, Qaladze and Ranya
received above 1000 mm rainfall. In other hand Chamchamal and Kalar received less
amount of rainfall during whole of the year. Although entire Sulaymaniyah province
encountered less volume of rainfall in the 2006 because of drought condition which
persisted for 4 years, it can be seen in the figure that the most vulnerable cities are
Chamchamal and Mawat in the 2006 which the amount was recorded less than 100mm.

59

Rainfall (mm)

1600

1200

2001-2002
2002-2003

800

2003-2004
2004-2005

400

2005-2006

Area
Figure 4.9 Average rainfall in different cities in Sulaymaniyah province

4.2

WATER FOOTPRINT OF THE SULAYMANIYAH PROVINCE

The water use is highly constrained by unbalanced conditions of demands and


availability, particularly during the dry season. Water footprint is used for estimating
water used in agricultural crops such as wheat, barley, chickpeas, sunflower, sweet melon
and tomato in the Sulaymaniyah province. The water footprint assesses the total
freshwater which is consumed in each product during a specific time, it consists of two
components namely blue water and green water. The blue water footprint refers to the
amount of fresh water of the surface and ground water which consumed (evaporated) as a
consequence of producing a product, whereas the green water footprint refers to the rain
water which consumed to flourishing a good. In other words, crop water requirements
highlight two essentials: effective rainfall means (green water) and irrigation water refers
to (blue water). Crop water requirements (mm/day) present to the water needed for
evapotranspiration under supreme growth conditions; it breaks up to measure from
planting to harvesting. Moreover, those are calculated as the green and blue water
footprint for growing the crop (WF, m3/ton).

60

Sulaymaniyah province is characterized by fertile mountain valley and high grade


pasture land. A variety of crops grow in this area including wheat, barley, rice, variety of
vegetables and cereals, fruits and nuts as well as some cash crops (cotton, tobacco, sugar
beets and olives). Wheat is the staple crop and mainly consumed by the population.
However, yielding crops differ from season to season because each crop has grown in
specific period of the year.

4.2.1

Wheat

The total land devoted for the wheat production is higher than other crops. Annual
production of wheat is difference from one year to another year because it is highly
dependent on rainfall, which some year receives inadequate precipitation to grow wheat
as happened from 2007 to 2009. People were depending on commercial trading of
agricultural productions that imported by the Iraqi Ministry of Trade resulted from lack
of precipitation. Total wheat production reaches high volume in 2013 with 283140
ton/year in Sulaymaniyah because adequate precipitation, while during drought event, for
example in 2007, total wheat production was 95965 ton/year due to wheat is only
dependent on the rainfall in Kurdistan province (Appendix A). Rain-fed wheat is
commenced to plant in the early of spring and harvesting in the early of summer season.
Meanwhile, although plantation of wheat lies mostly on the plain area in the
Sulaymaniyah province, farmers utilize hillsides and mountainous areas where irrigation
is not possible for producing of wheat.
Figure 4.10 illustrates that for producing per ton of wheat production will require
high amount of green and blue water footprint. The volume of consuming water is
slightly difference from year to another year. It can be noticed that high amount of
consuming water with 683 m3/ton of water, which consists of 388 m3/ton of green water
and 296 m3/ton of blue water. This value is recorded in in four different years (2003,
2005, 2007 and 2008). Water slightly fluctuation of consuming water footprint are
instability of rainfall and snow which the main resource for green water footprint.
Meanwhile, consumption of water for wheat is difference from an area to another, for
example, plain area uses a lot of water from both irrigation systems and rainfall, but

61

hillside and mountainous area rely on the direct rainfall as compared to surface water
(Morgounov et al. 2007). Furthermore, both green and blue water are significantly
contributing in producing of wheat. Although green water footprint involves more than
blue water footprint, it can be seen that wheat production consumes blue water footprint

Water footprint (m3/ton)

more than other crops where have been grown in Sulaymaniyah province.

800
600
400

Blue WF
Green WF

200
0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Year

Figure 4.10 Amount water footprint (m3) per ton of wheat

According to the Figure 4.10 wheat production consumed much water relatively
to other crops. It needs nearly 700 m3/ton. The global average water footprint consumed
by rain-fed wheat production is 1805 m3/ton, whereas in irrigated wheat production is
slightly higher (1868 m3/ton), the consequence of the variation of water consumption in
wheat productions seasons and locations, depending on the climate conditions and type of
soil (Anderson et al. 1998; Mekonnen 2011) Therefore, the condition of climate is wet
and cold in winter and hot and dry in the summer which influences the consumption of
much water in the winter and less water in the summer.

4.2.2

Barley

62

Barley is usually considered as a crop that is droughts tolerant. Thus, barley is usually
grown in the cold area and somewhat dry during its flourishing season and it can be
grown in semi-arid areas because it is also salt tolerance. The following Figure 4.11
shows water use for barley product in 2003 to 2013, it can be seen that no significant
change was recorded, except in 2011 which consumed much more water compared to
other years. A slightly changed in the blue water with ranges between 40 m3/ton to 60
m3/ton, while the lowest green water per ton of barley was recorded in 2008 and 2010
(321 m3/ton) and the highest consumption was in 2011 (533 m3/ton). Although the
amount of water footprint is slightly different in some countries such as Germany uses
590 m3/ton of total water footprint that consists of 351 m3/ton of green water and 239
m3/ton of blue water footprint and Morocco uses 452 m3/ton as total water footprint with
291 m3/ton of green water and 160 m3/ton of blue water and Ireland uses 448 m3/ton,
which 295 m3/ton is green water footprint and 153 m3/ton is blue water footprint
(Gerbens-Leenes et al. 2008). Consumption of blue and green water footprint are almost
equal for producing per ton of barley in most countries. Furthermore, volume of water
consumption of barley in some countries is much higher than consumption of water for
producing per ton of barley in Sulaimanyah, for instance, total consumption of WF in
Russian federation, Canada 1407, Belarus and Italy are uses 2525, 1407, 2090 and 1149
m3/ton respectively, while average consumption is only 381 m/ ton (Gerbens-Leenes et
al. 2008). The difference of blue and green water consumption for barley is highly related
to the amount of crops yield. For example, the amount of harvesting barley in the 2011
per hectare is less than the volume of producing barley in 2008 and 2010. The most
important factor affecting on the changing of producing crop productions is the difference
of climate conditions in each year which has potential impact on using a lot of green
water.
The average water consumption to produce per ton barley is 381 m/ ton which
constitute of 339 m/ton of green water that refers to rainfall use and 42 m of blue water
per ton. It means most of rainfall water in Sulaymaniyah province is passively used in
efficiently way for producing crops. Poor utilization of ground water and fresh water

63

leads to low water consumption for irrigation, especially blue water consumption after
cease of rain in May until November.

Water footprint (m/ton)

600
500
400
Blue WF
Green WF

300
200
100
0
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Year
Figure 4.11 Amount of water footprint consumption m3 per ton barley

4.2.3

Sunflower

Sunflower is one of the crops that can be cultivated in the Kurdistan province which it is
also a universal and vital oil crop. Sulaymaniyah climate is the most suitable region in the
Middle East and Iraq for cultivation of sunflower, since it is getting more sunshine during
the day that required for its flourishing.
Sunflower requires significant amount of water. It can be noticed in Figure 4.12
that the highest volume of water consumed was recorded in 2006 and 2007. It was about
312 m of water is consumed for producing per ton of sunflower and fewer amounts were
recorded in 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012. It was approximately 208 m per ton which
consists of both blue and green water. Furthermore, the green water was substantially
consumed for sunflower which the average consumption of water per ton of sunflower is
200 m, whereas the blue water uses is only 19 m per ton. Sunflower accounts as one of
the oil vegetables that requires large amount of water footprint in average global scale
(3165 m3/ton). In this case, there is a big gap in the amounts of green water footprint for

64

sunflower between Sulaymaniyah and global scale. In other hand, global blue water
footprint is similar to blue water footprint for sunflower (Mekonnen & Hoekstra 2011).

Water footprint (m/ton)

350
300
250
Blue WF
Green WF

200
150
100
50
0

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Year
Figure 4.12 Amount of water footprint (m3 per ton) of sunflower

Figure 4.12 implies that effective rainfall is important element for producing
crops, beside that blue water is needed during drought event to support the crops growth
until harvesting season. The problem of less blue water consumption for the sunflower
and other crops is due to the poor undeveloped irrigation system (Multsch et al. 2013).

4.2.4

Sweet Melon

Sulaymaniyahs water footprint related to the consumption of sweet melon products was
21 m/ton for the period 2003 2013. Sweet melon requires less amount of water
footprint in analogous to other crops which are grown in the Sulaymaniyah because of
high productivity per unit, for example sweet melon produce 10 to 12 ton/ha which it
renders to consume less volume of water footprint as a consequence of high production
that decreases water footprint. It can be observed in the Figure 4.13 which green water
footprint is similar to other crops that composed higher range than blue water in sweet
melon. The total water footprint for sweet melon is not considerable changed in all the

65

years from 2003 to 2013 were more than 20m/ton, except 2008 due to increasing high
productivity per hectare and climate conditions.

Water footprint (m/ton)

25
20
15

Blue WF
Green WF

10
5
0

Year
Figure 4.13 Amount of water footprint (m3 per ton) of sweet melon

4.2.5

Tomato

Tomato production per hectare in Sulaymaniyah province is much higher as compared to


other crops. It depends on the irrigation and runoff water (includes snow melting and
storing rainfall) to growth. Remarkable variations can be observed in the proportion of
green and blue water footprints for growing tomato in the Sulaymaniyah province. Figure
4.14 shows that the highest water requirement is in 2010 (52 m/ton) which mostly is
green water (45 m/ton). The lowest water consumption is in 2012 (12 m/ton). It can be
seen that green water footprint is much higher than blue water compared to other crops,
hence irrigation rely on the runoff water which stored in the reservoirs and small dams.
The fluctuation of water footprint in tomato production is higher than other crops that
grown in Sulaymaniyah because the yield of tomato is produced in a great amount per
hectare and influences the total water footprint result. For instance, the highest volume of

66

yield produced in 2012 coincides with the lowest water consumption. Another issue
effect on the fluctuation of the tomato production is because this product is a commercial,
which some years it is imported in surrounding countries.

Water footprint (m/ton)

60
50
40
Blue WF
Green WF

30
20
10
0

Year
Figure 4.14 Amount of water footprint (m3 per ton) of tomato

4.2.6

Chickpea

Chickpea is a kind of dry beans and Kurdistans weather assists chickpea to be grown.
The plantation start in March to April which for growing requires quite much water,
therefore, it depends on the rainfall for the germination. It can be noticed in the Figure
4.15 that illustrates green water footprint is higher compared to the blue water footprint
due to most of the crop production in the Sulaymaniyah rely on the rainfall and melting
snow, hence, green water footprint is higher than blue water footprint. Figure 4.15 shows
high consumption of water in 2010 300 m/ton, while the lowest was found in 2011 (153
m/ton). Furthermore, it can be observed that blue water footprint participated in fewer
amounts than green water footprint because the amount of rainfall, stored rainfall and soil
moisture that are considered sufficient to grow dry beans.

67

Water footprint (m/ton)

300

200
Blue WF
Green WF

100

Year
Figure 4.15 Amount of water footprint (m3 per ton) of chickpea

4.3

ASSESSMENT WATER FOOTPRINT

Average of total water footprint (m/ton) OF crops cultivation from the period of 2003 to
2013 for the Sulaymaniyah province is illustrateD in the Figure 4.16. Higher green water
footprints were found for barley and wheat with a total of 339 m/ton and 304 m/ton,
respectively. The following is chickpea 205 m/ton and sunflower using green water 200
m per ton and the lowest water footprint were found for tomato and sweet melon (18 m
per ton). Meanwhile, the largest blue water footprint was recorded for wheat with 232 m
per ton, while the lowest blue water footprint were found for sweet melon and tomato
with less than 5 m per ton. Based on these findings, it was found that the largest water
footprint was recorded for growing wheat in the Sulaymaniyah.
Water footprint was calculated for six of the most relevant crops in the
Sulaymaniyah province in the north west of Iraq (Figure 4.16). On a state scale, average
water footprint ranges 20 m/ton to 537 m/ton. Crops such as tomato and water melon
have smaller water footprint with a value less than 25 m/ton. In general, the higher the
yield of the crops, the smaller the value of water footprint. Average water footprints for

68

cereals range from 220 m/ton (sunflower) to 537 m3/ton (wheat), while low values can
also be observed for chickpea. Moreover, the average contribution of green water
consumption is generally high in the Sulaymaniyah province, with more than 500 m/ton
(82 %), reflecting the high rate of annual rainfall. Blue water consumption is considered
low for this study. Furthermore, wheat, barley, chickpea and sunflower have the highest
water demand, resulting in large irrigation amounts to meet the crop water requirements
(CWR) (Gao et al. 2014).

Water footprint (m/ton)

400
300
GREEN WF

200

BLUE WF

100
0

Year
Figure 4.16 Average water footprint (m3 per ton) of six selected crop.

The relative contribution between the blue and green water footprint for each
product in percentage is shown in Figure 4.17. Figure 4.17 reveals that wheat uses both
types of water footprint in the most significant volume of green and blue water footprint
with 57% and 43%, respectively. For other crops most water consumption is from the
green water, for example, water footprint of sunflower consists of 91% of green water
footprint and only 9% of blue water footprint. The contribution of the blue component to
the total water footprint is considered low for other crops, for example, the blue water
component is 16% in sweet melon and 15% in chickpea and tomato, whereas the green
water is 84% in sweet melon, 85% in chickpea and tomato 89%. The blue water

69

consumption is different from year to year due to the climate and irrigation that have
been applied to the crops.

Percentage (%)

100
80
Blue WF

60

Green WF

40
20
0

Crop
Figure 4.17 Average water footprint six selected crops in the Sulaymaniyah province

As expected, the green water footprint is lower in dry seasons and higher in humid
or wet seasons and the blue water footprint of crops during the dry seasons was
approximately doubles as compared to humid or wet seasons. This study shows the
similarity between global scale water footprint for crops and the water footprint for the
Sulaymaniyah province. This implies that the ratio between green and blue water
footprint in the Sulaymaniyah province corresponds with the global estimates, while the
only difference between the global estimates and the Sulaymaniyah province is the
amount of consumption of water footprint for each crop. This difference is may be due to
the importance of using regional climate data.

4.4
WATER SCARCITY
Water scarcity occurs in almost areas in the Middle East countries due to lack of
precipitation and good water polices within upstream countries such as Turkey and Iran.

70

These countries have constructed many dams to prevent free-flowing water through
rivers and tributaries. Therefore, water scarcity is simply noticed in all provinces in Iraq,
except Sulaymaniyah and Duhok provinces, which they can rely on their watersheds to
provide adequate water for agricultural consumption, domestic use and industrial sector.
It can be seen in Figure 4.18 that shows the amount of annual precipitation in
Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk provinces are optimum. Meanwhile, the total water footprint
results clearly demonstrates green water footprint is higher for all crops in comparison
with the blue water footprint implying that Sulaymaniyah province has sufficient rainfall
to flourish crops. However, to conserve water availability, small dams must be
constructed for water supply and the current irrigation system must be improved to
increase water availability that can be used during dry months. However, dependence on
rainfall causes the fluctuation of amount of water availability from one year to another
year due to variation in rainfall, as well as intensity of precipitation in the rainfall season
due to climate change (Pindoria 2010).
Higher blue water footprint compared to the green water footprint implies that
there is water scarcity issue because blue water footprint affects water availability, thus
accelerating water scarcity (Pindoria 2010). Therefore, the water scarcity in the
Sulaymaniyah province is unaffected and not severe because results of water footprint for
several crops show that green water footprint is higher than blue water footprint. Figure
4.19 shows the amount of precipitation in Kurdistan region is greater than other Iraqs
provinces. The amount of total rainfall exceeds 500 mm per year; even mountainous
areas in the Sulaymaniyah, Dohuk and Hawler provinces exceed 1500 mm and water
availability of the drainage basins are high in these provinces.

71

Figure 4.19 Average annual precipitation (1980 - 2011).


Source: Joint Analysis Unit (JAU)

Water scarcity is more associated to the volume of water availability for the
individual or per capita. When demanding for water is greater than proportion of rainfall
and water availability in that particular area, it is defined as water scarcity area
(Environment Agency 2007). Water scarcity and drought always occur in most regions in
Iraq. Some regions have been deteriorated since the past few years due to lack of
precipitation which influence the water availability. Otherwise Kurdistan region,
especially Sulaymaniyah province has been considered as a sufficient precipitation
region. However Kurdistan region also experienced drought events in the last five years.
Action must be taken to prevent further drought and water scarcity. The most proper way
to mitigate these rising problems is storing water during precipitation season and utilizing
during dry months. It can be seen in Figure 4.20 that the average amount of precipitation
reveals that Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk provinces are considered as the highest
precipitation levels, while other parts of Iraq in the south and north region received below

72

than 100 mm such as Babil, Karbala, Najaf, and Muthanna provinces. This illustrates that
Kurdistan region can depend on surface and ground water to serve for agricultural
activities and consumed for domestic purposes.

Figure 4.20 Average amount of precipitation according to each governorate in Iraq.


Source: (Lck 2014)

73

CHAPTER V

CONCLUSIONS

This study assesses the water footprint of several crops in Sulaymaniyah province by
using climate data from 1973 to 2002, which consists of temperature, humidity, wind,
sunshine and rainfall. Agricultural data encompasses wheat, barley, sweet melon, tomato,
chickpeas and sunflower for about 10 years data from 2003 to 2013. CROPWAT 8.0 was
used to determine the crop water requirement of selected crops. The motivation of the
study was to calculate the volume of fresh water consumed to grow crops. Furthermore,
the results can be used to preserve water during wet season and using in efficiency way
during drought period. This first study that has been done in Iraq was conducted in order
to evaluate how much water was used during growing season by crops and how much of
this water was coming from rainfall, runoff and groundwater by using water footprint
method. Water footprint is a new study to assess water consumption in crops by dividing
water consumption to two different parts such as blue and green water footprint. Analysis
of water footprint is useful to provide comprehensive framework to assist in providing
ideal alternatives for efficient water consumption at the each drainage basins. Although it
is very challenging to achieve allocation of efficient water in the region, but the water
footprint can be a complementary tool to overcome water-related problem, particularly in
Iraq.
Result of the water footprint assessment showed that wheat consumes high
amount of water, while the lowest water consumption were found for sweet melon and
tomato. Furthermore, the total water footprint is obviously different for each crop,
depending on how many tons are produced in one hectare of cultivated area. Wheat is

74

recorded with the highest consumption of water footprint, which total water footprint is
537 m3/ton of total water footprint, while total water consumption in sweet melon and
tomato are the same 21 m3/ton.
Green water footprint is higher than blue water footprint in the Sulaymaniyah
province. Therefore, consumption of water footprint corresponds to the pattern of global
scale of water footprint uses, even though amount of water consumption is different in
each crop due to disparity of climate from one region to another region around the world.
Green water footprint ranges between 12 m3/ton and 533 m3/ton, whereas blue water
footprint ranges between 2 m3/ ton and 300 m3/ton. Meanwhile, high green water
footprint depends upon high precipitation throughout a year, while contribution of blue
water footprint relies on the irrigation. In an overview, this study found that
Sulaymaniyah province depends on the precipitation because green water footprint is the
highest component. Furthermore, low blue water footprint indicates that irrigation system
has not still developed, while drought is always expected to occur in the region.
The range of water footprint is different among provinces in Iraq due to
precipitation pattern that varies throughout a year. Northern provinces is the highest in
receiving precipitation, while south and south west are considered as dry provinces.
Average total rainfall in Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk in the Northern country are 534 mm
and 508 mm, respectively. Hence, green water footprint is higher in the Northern
provinces than southern provinces, otherwise it is anticipated that blue water footprint is
higher in the southern provinces. Even though sufficient precipitation falls in the
Northern Province in the winter, they experience a drought event for almost five months
during summer season, which characterized as dry and hot season throughout a year.
Therefore, irrigation system is an appropriate way to be implemented by increasing
construction of small dams throughout the region. This implementation can increase
consumption of blue water and reduce pressure on the water during drought periods.
Construction of small dams and reservoirs, rationalization of irrigation systems,
development of agricultural products, efficiency of water availability and preparedness
for drought condition are recommended along this study to be considered and
implemented. Construction of small dams can be done in many areas of the region due to

75

precipitation falls in whole region in the wet season, which is sufficient to be preserved
for use in hot season. There are many advantages from small dams such as increasing soil
moisture, controlling flood, improving water quality and quantity and reducing sediment
and soil erosion. Irrigation system should be utterly improved and rationalized due to
irrigation system is an effective way to consume water and increasing agricultural
productions.

Preparedness for drought is necessary because region has experienced

drought conditions in last decade.

76

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