Water in relation to food and energy

Arjen Hoekstra
University of Twente / Water Footprint Network

www.waterfootprint.org

Overview of presentation
► Dilemmas in freshwater allocation ► Globalization of water ► Water footprint of Dutch consumers ► The water footprint concept ► Water for food ► The water-energy nexus ► National water footprints p ► What can we do?

1

Limits to freshwater use
Freshwater availability
Precipitation on land Evapotranspiration (green water) Runoff (blue water) ( )

Freshwater consumption
Agricultural products Food Fibres (cotton) ( ) Biofuels Forestry products Timber Paper Firewood, charcoal Aquaculture products Industries Domestic water supply

TRADE

Waste assimilation capacity
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Freshwater pollution
Point sources Diffuse sources

Maximum allowable concentrations Decay rates

Dilemmas in freshwater allocation

Water allocation dilemmas
Water for consumption versus water for waste assimilation - Water for food versus nature - Water for food versus bio-energy
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TRADE

What goal deserves priority?
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Food security to all? Allocation to highest added value? Sustainable water use?

2

3448 litre/day for agricultural products 541 litre/day for industrial products y p ► about 95% of NL’s water footprint lies abroad. [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. 68% grey) blue ► about 98% of the water footprint is ‘invisible’.Globalization of water Production Water consumption and p pollution related to p production for export. 26 litre/day (32% blue. 2011] 3 . water is not factored into the price of traded commodities TRADE Trade Consumption Water saving. it is related to the products consumers buy in the supermarket. but also water dependency The total water footprint of a consumer in NL ► about 2% of the water footprint is at home.

southern Spain Strawberries f export St b i for t 4 .Global water footprint of Dutch consumption soybean 95% of the water footprint is outside its own borders [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. 2011] Coto Doñana National Park.

Former Aral Sea. Central Asia 2008 1989 Cotton for export Calculated lake level without accounting for water abstraction Flowers from Kenya Decline of lake level in Lake Naivasha [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. 2010] 5 .

Use of green water Soybeans. deforestation. Brazil The water footprint concept 6 . Mato Grosso.

► when and where the water was used: a water footprint includes a temporal and spatial dimension. summed over the various steps of the production chain.The water footprint of a product ► the volume of fresh water used to produce the product. 7 . The water footprint of a product Green water footprint ► volume of rainwater evaporated or incorporated into product Blue water footprint ► volume of surface or groundwater evaporated or i t d incorporated i t product t d into d t Grey water footprint ► volume of polluted water.

2011] Grey water footprint • volume of polluted freshwater that associates with the production of a product in its full supply-chain.. • 8 . calculated as the volume of water that is required to assimilate pollutants based on ambient water quality standards.Components of a water footprint Direct water footprint Indirect water footprint Water consumption Green water footprint Water withdrawal Return flow Blue water footprint Green water footprint Blue water footprint Water pollution The traditional statistics on water use Grey water footprint Grey water footprint [Hoekstra et al.

5 illi kg/yr ► Total WFgrey of activity = L (cmax – cnat) cmax = 3 µg/l (EPA.Grey water footprint related to atrazine in corn production in the USA Applic. California. 2005) cnat = 0 µg/l Y = 9 ton/ha  Prod = 270 million ton/yr = 500 109 m3/yr Total renewable water resources in USA = 3.051 109 m3/yr (AQUASTAT. 2007) Plane spraying pesticide on maize (Zea mays). USA The environmental impact of the grey water footprint Grey water footprint < runoff Assimilative capacity not fully used Grey water footprint = runoff Full assimilative capacity of the river used Grey water footprint > runoff Pollution exceeding the assimilative capacity of the environment 9 . rate = 1 kg/ha Leaching rate = 5% A = 30 million ha L = 1 5 million 1.

2011] 10 . 2011] Number of months with blue water scarcity > 100% [Hoekstra & Mekonnen.Blue water footprint Blue water availability Blue water scarcity [Hoekstra & Mekonnen.

16000 m3/s 14000 Indus River Basin Natural runoff 12000 10000 8000 Environmental flow requirement 6000 4000 Blue water  footprint Blue water  availability Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2000 0 The water footprint of food 11 .

dry hay. 1% [Hoekstra & Chapagain. silage. d peas. 2010] The water footprint of a cow Food ► 1300 kg of grains (wheat. etc) Water ► 24000 litres for drinking ► 7000 litres for servicing. corn. etc) dry b t ) ► 7200 kg of roughages 99% (pasture. soybean.The water footprint of food products global averages sugar crops vegetables starchy roots fruits cereals p pulses poultry pork beef 200 litre/kg 300 litre/kg 400 litre/kg 1000 litre/kg 1600 litre/kg 4000 litre/kg g 4000 litre/kg 6000 litre/kg 15000 litre/kg [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. barley. t b l ( h t oats. 2008] 12 .

2008] 13 . 2008] The water footprint of a hamburger [Hoekstra & Chapagain.The water footprint of beef [Hoekstra & Chapagain.

5 1550 Total Developing countries ti 3400 3600 Total 3400 2300 Animal origin 350 2.5 750 Vegetable origin 2450 0.5 1250 Total 2700 2050 Total 2700 1750 Meat versus vegetarian diet Vegetarian diet Meat diet Industrial countries kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day Animal A i l origin 950 2.5 500 Vegetable origin 2350 0.5 1225 Vegetable origin 3100 0.5 750 Vegetable origin 2450 0.5 1175 Vegetable origin 2500 0.5 500 Vegetable origin 2350 0.5 1550 Total Developing countries ti 3400 3600 Total 3400 2300 Animal origin 350 2.5 875 Animal origin 200 2.5 1250 Total 2700 2050 Total 2700 1750 14 .5 875 Animal origin 200 2.5 2375 Animal A i l origin 300 2.5 1225 Vegetable origin 3100 0.5 2375 Animal A i l origin 300 2.5 1175 Vegetable origin 2500 0.Meat versus vegetarian diet Vegetarian diet Meat diet Industrial countries kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day Animal A i l origin 950 2.

5 500 Vegetable origin 2350 0.5 1250 Total 2700 2050 Total 2700 1750 The water-energy nexus 15 .5 1225 Vegetable origin 3100 0.5 1550 Total Developing countries ti 3400 3600 Total 3400 2300 Animal origin 350 2.5 875 Animal origin 200 2.5 750 Vegetable origin 2450 0.Meat versus vegetarian diet Vegetarian diet Meat diet Industrial countries kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day Animal A i l origin 950 2.5 2375 Animal A i l origin 300 2.5 1175 Vegetable origin 2500 0.

Water .    desalination pumping deeper groundwater large-scale (inter-basin) water transfers  The energy sector is becoming more water-intensive.   biomass increasing water use in mining fossil fuels Water footprint of energy Primary energy carriers Non-renewable Natural gas Coal Crude oil Uranium Renewable gy Wind energy Solar thermal energy Hydropower Biomass energy Global average water footprint (m3/GJ) 0.00 0.energy nexus  The water sector is becoming more energy-intensive. Hoekstra & Van der Meer.27 22 70 (range: 10-250) [Gerbens-Leenes. 2008] 16 .09 0.11 0.06 0.16 1.

wheat sugar beet. rye. jatropha poplar [Gerbens-Leenes. potato. 2008] Production-chain bio-energy ELECTRICITY BIOMASS RESIDUE HEAT CROP YIELD RESIDUE EXTRACTION YIELD ETHANOL BIODIESEL [Gerbens-Leenes. paddy rice. sugarcane soybean. cassava. 2008] 17 . rapeseed. Hoekstra & Van der Meer.Energy from biomass Source examples Starch crops Sugar crops Oil crops Trees barley. maize. sorghum. Hoekstra & Van der Meer.

Hoekstra & Van der Meer. 2009] 18 .Water footprint of biomass energy water footprint of biomass [m3 /ton]= crop water use [m3 /ha] crop yield [ton/ha] water footprint of biomass [m3 /ton] energy yield [GJ/ton] water footprint of bio-energy [m3 /GJ]  Water footprint of biofuels from different crops [litre/litre] Car driving on bio-ethanol from sugar beet: 40-210 litre/km [Gerbens-Leenes.

The water-energy nexus WF of bio-energy >> WF of other forms of energy WF bio-heat or electricity < WF biofuels WF bio-ethanol < WF biodiesel Sugar beet most water-efficient energy crop Large country differences Water footprint of humanity will increase substantially with the increase of bioenergy Water footprint of nations and international virtual water trade 19 .

► two components: • internal water footprint (inside the country). • external water footprint (in other countries).Water footprint of national consumption ► total amount of water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the nation. ► water footprint of national consumption = t f t i t f ti l ti water footprint within the nation + virtual water import – virtual water export International virtual water flows Virtual water flow (m3/yr) = Trade volume (ton/yr)  Product water footprint (m3/ton) 20 .

2011] Water footprint of national consumption Global average water footprint [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. 2011] 21 .Water footprint of national consumption [Mekonnen & Hoekstra.

2008] 22 . 2011] Virtual water transfers in China 52 Gm3/yr [Ma et al.National virtual water balances [Mekonnen & Hoekstra. Hoekstra & Chapagain. 2006..

Virtual water flows India 5 North  India ‐46 West  India 13 9 22 East  India ‐8 9 +34 2 1 4 10 +4 South  India [Kampman et al. 2008] What can we do? 23 ..

The ultimate perspective Industry Green WF Not relevant. Agriculture Decrease green water footprint increase green water productivity (ton/m3). increase production from rain-fed lands Blue WF Zero blue water footprint recapture and recycle evaporation flow Decrease blue water footprint increase blue water productivity (ton/m3).recycle Reduce use artificial fertilisers & pesticides organic farming Towards supplementary or deficit irrigation and application of precision irrigation techniques 24 . adopt better irrigation techniques and p practices Grey WF Zero grey water footprint zero pollution – recapture chemicals and heat from wasteflow .

Towards full water recycling in industries: zero blue water footprint Make better use of ‘green water’ Increase water productivity in rain-fed agriculture 25 .

Towards organic farming: zero grey water footprint Towards full recycling of materials and heat: zero grey water footprint 26 .

Water neutral urban expansion 27 .

28 .