Water scarcity assessment in Iran’s agricultural sector using the water footprint concept

Article


Dehghanpir, Shahla, Bazrafshan, Ommolbanin, Ramezani-Etedali, Hadi and Collins, Brian. 2023. "Water scarcity assessment in Iran’s agricultural sector using the water footprint concept." Environment, Development and Sustainability: a multidisciplinary approach to the theory and practice of sustainable development. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-023-03852-3
Article Title

Water scarcity assessment in Iran’s agricultural sector using the water footprint concept

ERA Journal ID5894
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsDehghanpir, Shahla, Bazrafshan, Ommolbanin, Ramezani-Etedali, Hadi and Collins, Brian
Journal TitleEnvironment, Development and Sustainability: a multidisciplinary approach to the theory and practice of sustainable development
Number of Pages26
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN1387-585X
1573-2975
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-023-03852-3
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10668-023-03852-3
Abstract

The adoption of the water footprint concept and its application in assessing water stress can provide valuable insights into the sustainable use of water resources in agricultural production. The objective of the present study is to calculate the agricultural water stress index (AWSI) using the water footprint framework and water scarcity indices, namely blue water scarcity (BWS), water stress index (WSI), water self-sufficiency (WSS), water dependency (WD), and water poverty (WP) indices in Iran’s agricultural sector during the period of 2008–2019. Subsequently, the spatiotemporal patterns of water scarcity indices were examined at both the provincial and national levels. The findings reveal that the agricultural water footprint (AWF) amounted to approximately 195.6 Gm3, with AWFblue, AWFgreen, and AWFgray accounting for 85.2%, 6.9%, and 7.9%, respectively. The average national AWSI was estimated to be 0.94, indicating a state of extreme stress, and exhibiting an upward trend from 2012 to 2019. The southern and central regions, notably Yazd, Kerman, Tehran, and Hormozgan, have experienced severe and extreme water stress (AWSI > 1.38). Conversely, the humid and Mediterranean regions in the north, northwest, and west of Iran experience varying degrees of low to moderate water scarcity. Nevertheless, the western region (West Azerbaijan) and the northwest region (Zanjan and Hamedan) have transitioned from a state of moderate stress to a high-stress category (AWSI > 0.6). Based on the results, regions where BWS < AWSI < WSI exhibit lower levels of WP and WSS, but higher levels of WD. Conversely, in regions where AWSI > BWS > WSI, the significant diversity of agricultural products has contributed to an increase in WP and WSS, along with a decrease in WD. The AWSI, based on the water footprint concept, proves to be more suitable for reflecting regional water scarcity compared to existing water stress indices, particularly in arid and semi-arid agricultural production regions, due to the demonstrated environmental impacts of sustainable agricultural production.

KeywordsWater scarcity; Agricultural water stress index; Water footprint; Blue water scarcity
Article Publishing Charge (APC) FundingOther
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300499. Crop and pasture production not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Hormozgan, Iran
Imam Khomeini International University, Iran
James Cook University
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