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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1994 → The efficiency of irrigation water use for food production in Mexico

Arizona State University (1994)

The efficiency of irrigation water use for food production in Mexico

McGlade, Michael Sean

Titre : The efficiency of irrigation water use for food production in Mexico

Auteur : McGlade, Michael Sean

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1994

Résumé
A new method is presented to measure the efficiency of water as the basis for food energy and protein production. Four nutritional measures are utilized, including : (1) total food energy produced per unit of water consumed, (2) total food energy produced per unit of water applied, (3) crude protein produced per unit of water consumed, and (4) crude protein per unit of water applied. These measures are used to assess the Hydronutritional Productivity (HNP) of irrigation in Mexico. HNP assessment (developed for this research), makes it possible to compare the efficiency of basic food crops and livestock feed systems. HNP for food crops is the total food energy or protein output of raw products divided by the total amount of water either consumed or applied. HNP for feed crops is the total energy or protein output of a given crop after it is consumed and converted to consumable animal tissue (either meat, milk, or eggs), divided by the water either consumed or applied to grow the crop. HNP assessment finds Mexican tropical regions to be the most efficient producers of food energy and the least efficient producers of food protein, primarily due to the widespread production of sugar cane. Protein is produced most efficiently in northwest Mexican irrigated lands. By substituting food crops with low HNP towards food crops with higher HNP, an improvement of energy and protein production efficiency of 2.1 and 2.5 percent seems feasible at the national level using existing resources at current levels of technology. By substituting maize for sorghum (the leading livestock feed) in suitable irrigated areas, an increase in energy and protein production efficiency of 6.5 and 8.3 percent appears possible at the national scale. HNP assessment shows promise as a method which can help scholars, planners, and agriculturalists discern relatively inefficient crop systems and determine to what degree alternative land and water use changes could increase food production in regions where water is a limiting resource.

Mots clés : Agriculture, Environmental science, Health and environmental sciences, Geography, Biological sciences, Social sciences

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