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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2016)

Developing a water productivity target framework : Case study ; Westbank, Palestine

Blatchford, M.L.

Titre : Developing a water productivity target framework : Case study ; Westbank, Palestine

Auteur : Blatchford, M.L.

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2016

In order to meet growing food demands with increasing water scarcity, the agriculture sector needs to be more efficient with its water consumption. Improving water productivity (WP) or crop WP is a way to contribute to reducing agricultural water demand. Establishing WP targets can assist in forming tangible objectives, along with defining the attainable degree and approaches for improvement. Developing WP targets, through benchmarks or scores, can assist in transition from actual WP values, which vary based on climatic and environmental factors, to a normalised score or target. Some research has been undertaken to develop WP targets, however they do not (i) comprehensively consider environmental variations or (ii) advance the identification of approaches to reach the targets. This research aims to bridge this gap by considering environmental variables, which influence attainable WP, and undertaking factor analysis of land and water management (LWM) practices to identify recommendations that can be made to reach the WP targets. Four WP scoring (WPS) systems were analysed and compared for potato and olive in the West Bank, Palestine. Each scoring system targets different aspects of improving WP in a more comprehensive way than simply improving WP. The first two, WPS0 and WPS1, focus on moving low performing farmers to bright spots. The third, WPS4, goes a step further by identifying which component of WP - yield or evapotranspiration (ETa) - has the most room for improvement. WPS0, WPS1 and WPS4 are suited to areas of large climatic variation, where the goal is to move from hot spots to bright spots in non-water limited situations. The last, WPS5, focused on reducing the ETa only, by focusing on increasing WP within a given yield zone. WPS5 is most suitable to regions that are water limited, as the focus is purely on reducing the ETa within a given yield. WPS5 sufficiently accounted for variation in soils, reducing the need for delineating areas due to environmental variation. A preliminary factor analysis determined that certain LWM practices can assist in improving WP. However, recommended LWM practices to meet WP targets vary dependent on the selected WPS system, and therefore basin goals.

Sujets  : water productivity land management water management agricultural water demand West Bank Palestine

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