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Global Food Production - The Contribution of Groundwater and Depleting Aquifers

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Presented by IWMI’s Aditya Sood at the 26th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), held in Prague - Czech Republic, on June 25, 2015.
Session - Societal Relevance of Groundwater: Ever Increasing Demands on a Limited Resource

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Global Food Production - The Contribution of Groundwater and Depleting Aquifers

  1. 1. Karen G. Villholtha, Aditya Soodb, Nirosha Liyanagec, Tingju Zhud a Principal Researcher, IWMI, South Africa b Senior Researcher, IWMI, Sri Lanka c GIS Consultant, IWMI, Sri Lanka d Senior Research Staff, IFPRI, Washington DC GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION - THE CONTRIBUTION OF GROUNDWATER AND DEPLETING AQUIFERS 26th IUGG General Assembly 2015 Prague, Czech Republic
  2. 2.  How much does groundwater contribute to global food production?  How much of this is unsustainable? Objective of This Research
  3. 3. S R D Natural conditions Averaged over long term, R=D and S is constant S R D Stable groundwater pumping Qnet is equivalent to reduction in D and S Qnet S R D Unsustainable condition Qnet is greater than R, D reduces to 0 and S decreases continuosly Qnet Fundamental groundwater balance Groundwater depletion occurs when the rate of groundwater abstraction is greater than the rate of replenishment
  4. 4. Source: Shah et al., 2007 Groundwaterwithdrawal(cubickmper year) Development in groundwater withdrawal in selected countries
  5. 5. 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 Mm3//year Total groundwater depletion at global scale Source: Wada et al., 2012 Results from the PCR-GLOBWB model Depletion = Abstraction - Recharge
  6. 6. • Larger than 10%, inferred from Shah et al. (2007) • 40% of all cultivated land under irrigation is ‘water well equipped’ (Foster and Shah, 2012) • About 10% of global food production depends on using mined GW (FAO, 2003) • In China, 15-27% of total national food production (incl. rainfed) is from mined GW (Grogan et al., 2015) Earlier Estimates of the Role of GW in Global Irrigated Food Production
  7. 7. SPAM data/map Food Production and Harvested Area mapping PCR-GLOBWB data/map Groundwater Abstraction & Recharge FAO data/map Percentage of Irrigated Area by Groundwater FINAL PRODUCT Food Production and Harvested Area dependent on GW abstraction and GW depletion METHODOLOGY GIS analysis Grid maps of Agricultural Water Demand & Total Water Demand
  8. 8. COUNTRY GROUPING
  9. 9. CROP GROUPING Crop Group Crop Name Beverage and spice crops arabica coffee cocoa robusta coffe tea Cereals barley maize other cereals pearl millet rice small millet sorghum wheat Leguminous crops other pulses bean chickpea cowpea lentil pigeonpea NonFood Crops cotton other fibre crops tobacco Crop Group Crop Name Oilseed Crop coconut groundnut oilpalm other oil crops rapeseed sesame seed soybean sunflower Other Crops rest of crops Roots and Tubers cassava other roots potato sweet potato yams Sugar Crops sugarbeet sugarcane Vegetables and Fruits banana plantain temperate fruit tropical fruit vegetables
  10. 10. Total Crop Production :Region wise *without Australia, New Zealand & Chile Total Physical Area: 1136.76 Million Hectare Total Harvested Area: 1240.80 Million Hectare Total Production: 6810.97 Million Metric Ton
  11. 11. *without Australia, New Zealand & Chile Total Physical Area: 1136.76 Million Hectare Total Harvested Area: 1240.80 Million Hectare Total Production: 1136.76 Million Metric Ton Total Crop Production :Crop Group wise
  12. 12. Rainfed vs. Irrigated
  13. 13. Percentage of 5 arc min grid cell area equipped for irrigation with groundwater out of total irrigated area
  14. 14. Validate FAO and SPAM FAO “area in hectares that is irrigated by groundwater” (Step 2) (2005 at 5’ grid) Irrigated Physical Area in SPAM (Step 1) (2005 at 5’ grid) Action Some area Area more than or equal to FAO Use area equal to FAO. Rest is from SW. The area will be distributed among crops based on the original ratio of crop area in SPAM. Area less than FAO Use area of SPAM and report the difference No area Use no area and report the difference No area Some area Set it to zero. Assume it to be SW irrigation. Note the difference. No area No action (leave as blank)
  15. 15. Physical Area Irrigated by Groundwater Regions Area (Million hectare) Percentage of Irrigated Area Australia/Oceania 0.2 52.4% Central Asia 0.5 17.3% East Asia 15.5 26.5% Latin America and the Caribbean 1.8 19.5% Near East/North Africa 6.6 33.5% OECD* 19.6 64.1% Other European Countries 0.7 20.0% South Asia 37.9 52.6% Sub-Saharan Africa 0.3 5.5% Grand Total 83.12 41.0%
  16. 16. Areas in Greenland and other drier areas show depletion but also have negative recharge - removed Groundwater Abstraction and Depletion - Region-wise (all uses) Region Abstraction (Km3) Depletion (Km3) Depletion as %age of Abstraction Australia/Oceania 3.01 1.0 33.3 Central Asia 13.8 7.9 57.0 East Asia 117.9 37.5 31.8 Latin America and the Caribbean 19.1 2.6 13.4 Near East/North Africa 96.9 74.9 77.3 OECD* 201.0 86.2 42.9 Other European Countries 23.1 6.8 29.5 South Asia 252.5 122.0 48.3 Sub-Saharan Africa 5.6 2.4 42.9 Total 733.0 341.27 46.6 For year 2001 * without Australia, New Zealand & Chile
  17. 17. Groundwater Abstraction/Depletion for Agriculture Original Data Processed Data x 𝑊𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝐷𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝐴𝑔𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑊𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝐷𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑑 Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 0.5 o Groundwater Abstraction Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 0.5 o Groundwater Depletion Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 0.5 o Groundwater Abstraction for Agriculture Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 0.5 o Groundwater Depletion for Agriculture
  18. 18. Validate GW abstraction/depletion with SPAM Groundwater Irrigated maps Agricultural - GW abstraction/depletion (2001 at 0.5o grid) SPAM-GW-Irrigated Map (2005 at 5’ grid) Action Yes 1 or more grids with GW- Irrigated Area Distribute GW abstraction and depletion proportionally between grids equipped for irrigation. No grids with GW-Irrigated Area Leave Blank. Assume GW abstraction for non-agriculture use. No 1 or more grids with GW- Irrigated Area Leave Blank – Report Error No grids with GW-Irrigated Area Leave Blank
  19. 19. Region Abstraction (Km3) Depletion (Km3) Depletion as %age of Abstraction Australia/Oceania 1.6 0.7 43.9 Central Asia 8.8 6.7 76.6 East Asia 78.2 31.4 40.1 Latin America and the Caribbean 10.7 2.1 20.0 Near East/North Africa 89.0 69.2 77.7 OECD* 125.7 73.8 58.7 Other European Countries 7.7 2.9 37.5 South Asia 231.4 116.9 50.5 Sub-Saharan Africa 4.1 2.00 49.1 Total 557.26 305.7 54.9 For year 2001 * without Australia, New Zealand & Chile Groundwater Abstraction and Depletion - Region-wise (agriculture only)
  20. 20. GW Abstraction for Agriculture
  21. 21. GW Depletion for Agriculture
  22. 22. Distributing GW abstracted and depleted between irrigated crops Original Data Processed Data Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 5’ Temporal: 2001 Spatial: 5’ Groundwater Abstraction Map Groundwater Depletion Map  Groundwater Abstraction Map 𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑑𝑒𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑏𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑝 ∗ 𝐴 𝑐 𝐾 𝑐 𝑐=1 𝑐=𝑛 𝐴 𝑐 𝐾 𝑐  Groundwater Depletion Map 42 Layers (One for each crop):  Used harvested area  Water productivity due to groundwater irrigation considered to be double than that due to surface water irrigation
  23. 23. CROP PRODUCTION FROM ABSTRACTED GROUNDWATER Australia/Oce ania 2% Central Asia 0% East Asia 17% Latin America and the Caribbean 7% Near East/North Africa 4% OECD 23%Other European Countries 1% South Asia 45% Sub-Saharan Africa 1% Regions Beverage and spice crops 0% Cereals 44% Leguminous crops 0% NonFood Crops 3% Oilseed Crop 3% Other Crops 0% Roots and Tubers 7% Sugar Crops 36% Vegetables and Fruits 7% Crop Groups
  24. 24. CROP PRODUCTION FROM DEPLETED GROUNDWATER Australia/Oc eania 0% Central Asia 1% East Asia 19% Latin America and the Caribbean 1% Near East/North Africa 9% OECD 23% Other European Countries 0% South Asia 46% Sub- Saharan Africa 1% Regions Beverage and spice crops 0% Cereals 48% Leguminous crops 1% NonFood Crops 4% Oilseed Crop 2% Other Crops 0% Roots and Tubers 8% Sugar Crops 29% Vegetables and Fruits 8% Crop Groups
  25. 25. DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED AREA IRRIGATED BY ABSTRACTED GROUNDWATER Beverage and spice crops 0% Cereals 71% Leguminous crops 3% NonFood Crops 7% Oilseed Crop 10% Other Crops 0% Roots and Tubers 2% Sugar Crops 4% Vegetables and Fruits 3% Crop Group Australia/Ocea nia 0% Central Asia 1% East Asia 20% Latin America and the Caribbean 2% Near East/North Africa 7% OECD (without Australia, New Zealand & Chile) 19% Other European Countries 1% South Asia 50% Sub-Saharan Africa 0% Region
  26. 26. DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED AREA IRRIGATED BY DEPLETED GROUNDWATER Beverage and spice crops 0% Cereals 71% Leguminous crops 3% NonFood Crops 10% Oilseed Crop 8% Other Crops 0% Roots and Tubers 2% Sugar Crops 3% Vegetables and Fruits 3% Crop Group Australia/Oce ania 0% Central Asia 1% East Asia 23% Latin America and the Caribbean 0% Near East/North Africa 11% OECD (without Australia, New Zealand & Chile) 18% Other European Countries 1% South Asia 46% Sub-Saharan Africa 0% Region
  27. 27. Production Of Total (Rainfed & Irrigated) Of Irrigated Of Irrigated by Groundwater From abstracted GW 13.3% 44.4% From Depleted GW 4.3% 14.5% 32.6% AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SUMMARY
  28. 28. HARVESTED AREA SUMMARY  8.4% of all agriculture harvested area is irrigated by groundwater.  41% of irrigated harvested area is irrigated by groundwater.  35% of the groundwater irrigated harvested area is from depleted groundwater.
  29. 29. Shortcomings • Dataset for GW abstraction and depletion at 0.5 degrees, rather than at 5 minutes • GW depletion data from 2001 where as the crop related data from 2005
  30. 30.  44 % of global irrigated agriculture production derives from GW irrigation  14.5 % of global irrigated agriculture production derives from depleting groundwater  32.6 % of all GW-based agriculture production is based on unsustainable abstraction  Asia is responsible for the largest share of food production from depleting groundwater  Cereals and sugar crops are the GW-irrigated crops most widely grown unsustainably, in terms production  Results imply the critical importance of analysing and developing congruent policies at multiple levels that account for the nexus between groundwater and food security Conclusions
  31. 31. Acknowledgement • Dr. Rens van Beek & Dr. Yoshi Wada, Geosciences, Univ. of Utrecht, PCR-GLOBWB model groundwater data set • Ulrike Wood-Sichra and Liangzhi You, IFPRI, SPAM data set
  32. 32. Brown, L.R., 2011. World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, Earth Policy Institute. W.W. Norton and Company. ISBN: 978-0-393-33949-9. FAO, 2003. The Irrigation Challenge. IIPTRID Issue Paper 4. Sep. 2003. Foster, S. and T. Shah, 2012. Groundwater Resources and Irrigated Agriculture – making a beneficial relation more sustainable. Perspectives Paper. Global Warter Partnership. Morris, B.L., A.R.L. Lawrence, P.J.C. Chilton, B. Adams, R.C. Calow, B.A. Klinck, B A. , 2003. Groundwater and its Susceptibility to Degradation: A Global Assessment of the Problem and Options for Management. Early Warning and Assessment Report Series, RS. 03-3. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya. Shah, T., J.J. Burke, and K.G. Villholth, 2007. Groundwater: a global assessment of scale and significance. Chapter 10, 395- 423. In: D. Molden (Ed.): Water for Food, Water for Life. Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture Synthesis Report. Earthscan. ISBN: 978-1-84407-396-2. Siebert, S., J. Burke, J.M. Faures, K. Frenken, J. Hoogeveen, P. Döll, and F.T. Portmann, 2010. Groundwater use for irrigation - a global inventory. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1863-1880. doi:10.5194/hess-14-1863-2010. Wada,Y., L.P.H. van Beek, and M.F.P. Bierkens, 2012. Nonsustainable groundwater sustaining irrigation: A global assessment. Wat. Res. Resear., 48, W00L06, doi:10.1029/2011WR010562. References
  33. 33. THANK YOU !!

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