Guide Water crisis : myth or reality? : Marcelino Botin Water Forum 2004

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Global data set of monthly growing areas of 26 irrigated crops, version 1.

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Postel, S. Human appropriation of renewable fresh water. Science, : Ramankutty, N. Farming the planet: 1. Geographic distribution of global agricultural lands in the year Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22 1. Linkages among water vapor flows, food production, and terrestrial ecosystem services.

Siebert, S. Meeting the basin closure of the Yellow river in China. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 24 2 : Water scarcity and food trade in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

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Food Policy, 32 5 6 : Zehnder, A. Water a commodity in short supply. Eawag News, 3 4.

Tunisia is fairly advanced in water resource planning and management and its scarce hydraulic resources are almost entirely mobilized. The country is therefore obliged to apply new concepts, new paradigms, to optimize the use of different types of water resources. A comprehensive model for water balance of Tunisia has been developed and adjusted from data at the national scale. This model takes into account all of water resources: the withdrawal water Blue Water, the Equivalent-Water of the rainfed agriculture GreenWater, and the net contribution in Equivalent-Water of the import-export food balancevirtual Water.

The model is used in order to simulate three scenarios for the prospective horizons and The first two scenarios are based on a traditional vision of the water resource which considers only the withdrawal water management Blue Water. The third scenario considers the total water resource potential involved in food production.

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The simulations indicate that the improvement of food safety will depend, in the future, on the capacity to manage all the available water resources, in particular by improving the potential of rainfed agriculture. These countries suffer the effects of these increases on their trade balances that generate, in the poorest countries, real food crises. This situation challenges traditional patterns of agricultural development and food security. In fact, the spectacular results of the green revolution and its impact on agricultural production have led to a widespread acceptance, which is to admit that the use of intensive irrigated agriculture is essential to meet the food challenge.

In arid and semi-arid countries the scarcity of water resources is a highly limiting factor for increased food production. When water resources are limiting agricultural production, food importation seems to be a way which is used consciously or unconsciously to fill the water deficit.

One speaks about Virtual Water. This concept means that the importation of foodstuffs is similar to importing an amount of water equivalent to the volume required to produce it locally Allan, In general, the significant contribution ofvirtual Water is not directly taken into account in water resources planning and is not accounted for characterizing water stress situations. On the other hand, the Equivalent-Water of the agricultural production related to rainfed crops corresponds to the volume extracted by plants from water contained in the soil Green Water.

The amount of Green Water, often much more important than water used in irrigated agriculture, takes The quantification of the trade in Virtual Water, taking care to distinguish between the water that comes from irrigated agriculture and trade from rainfed agriculture, is very instructive. It helps to clarify the relationship between agricultural and water policies and their impacts on the management and use of water resources. Before progressing in the analysis, we must first note that the direct needs urban, industrial and tourism are generally moderate.

BWRs define the minimum quantities of water needed to cover the basic water uses of a person: drinking, food preparation and hygiene. The needs for basic water represent only a small part few percent of the overall water demand. In contrast, the part of water demand involved in foodstuffs production is relatively high. Many recent works have been devoted to the evaluation of the quantity of water required in foodstuffs production Hoekstra, ; Oki et al.

In spite of their disparities, data resulting from research provide edifying information on the relation between water and foodstuffs production. It appears that the amount of water needed for food production depends greatly on the nutritional mode. Disregarding the origin of water used in agriculture, the production of 1 kg of cereals needs approximately 1 m 3 of water, while more than 20 m 3 are necessary to produce 1 kg of beef Oki et al. As a result, the water needed for food production is about 2.

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Water crisis : myth or reality? : Marcelino Botín Water Forum - Semantic Scholar

The important quantities of water involved in food production indicate that a full understanding of water issues should consider the structure of agricultural production. Adequacy or shortage of water resources depends mainly on the role that society assigns to irrigation and the place it is supposed to play in development policies in general and in agricultural policies in particular.

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The concept of the Water Footprint introduced in the early s suggested a comprehensive review to assess the potential of all water resources. The annual freshwater availability, which corresponds to the sum of Green Water availability and Blue Water availability, is equal to the total precipitation above land. This includes all resources used by the ecosystem Besbes et al. In an analysis of water resources through the globe, De Marsily specified the significant contribution of international food trade in water supply-demand adequacy, and drew attention to the important role of rainfed agriculture in food safety.

This new presentation of water resources should be used today for planning water resources development and allocation in arid countries by explicitly taking into account all kinds of water Green, Blue and Virtual Water and all the current needs. In previous papers we proposed a comprehensive water balance for Tunisia Chahed et al.

In this balance one considers all kinds of water resources, e. Blue Water, Green Water as well as the contribution of the agro-alimentary trade balance Virtual Water.