Advances in Earth Science ›› 2007, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 58-65. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2007.01.0058

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Advances in Researches of Agriculture Water Productivity

LIU Hu, ZHAO Wen-zhi   

  1. Linze National Field Station for Farmland Ecosystem, Hydrology and Ecology Laboratory of Watershed,CAREERI, CAS, Lanzhou 730000,China; Linze Inland River Basin Comprehensive Research Station, CERN, Lanzhou 730000,China
  • Received:2006-06-08 Revised:2006-10-09 Online:2007-01-10 Published:2007-01-10

LIU Hu, ZHAO Wen-zhi. Advances in Researches of Agriculture Water Productivity[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2007, 22(1): 58-65.

Both the rapid population growth and high urbanization rate place immediate pressures on agriculture for increased production while at the same time create new demands for water  which might have to be relocated from agriculture use. As water becomes scarce and food requirements increase, there will be a need to produce more food using less water, to protect the quality of water and the environment, particularly in developing countries. Concept of water productivity (WP), which can be defined as the amount of output or value per unit of water consumed, provides a useful framework to understand where and when water can be saved. Scholars even pointed out that the challenge of feeding tomorrow's world population is largely dependent on improved WP. Therefore, this paper aimed to provide a brief review on recent advances in agriculture water productivity (AWP). The evolution of the idea and concept of WP was introduced in the first part of this paper, and then the main affecting factors of AWP were analyzed in the second one. After enumerating the technical requirements and evaluation methodologies of WP in the third part, the range and patterns of globally measured Crop Water Productivity (CWP) of wheat, rice, cotton and maize were displayed, and then the improvement strategies of AWP were reviewed to illustrate the large opportunities for obtaining higher AWP from promoting water-use efficient techniques, adopting efficient on-farm water management, and selecting proper cropping pattern and cultural practices to developing more efficient crop varieties. It is pointed out that farmers' participation and Cross discipline collaboration should be promoted in the future, and also the researches on the scale issues, water price and water rights, virtual water transfers, environmental effects of CWP improvement practice and so on, should be further enhanced.

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