Cool Farm Tool Water: A global on-line tool to assess water use in crop production.

Benjamin Kayatz, Gabriele Baroni, Jon Hillier, Stefan Luedtke, Richard Heathcote, Daniella Malin, Carl van Tonder, Benjamin Kuster, Dirk Freese, Reinhardt Huettl, Martin Wattenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The agricultural sector accounts for 70% of all water consumption and poses great pressure on ground water resources. Therefore, evaluating agricultural water consumption is highly important as it allows supply chain actors to identify practices which are associated with unsustainable water use, which risk depleting current water resources and impacting future production. However, these assessments are often not feasible for crop producers as data, models and experiments are required in order to conduct them. This work introduces a new on-line agricultural water use assessment tool that provides the water footprint and irrigation requirements at field scale based on an enhanced FAO56 approach combined with a global climate, crop and soil databases. This has been included in the Cool Farm Tool an online tool which already provides metrics for greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity impacts and therefore allows for a more holistic assessment of environmental sustainability in farming and agricultural supply chains. The model is tested against field scale and state level water footprint data providing good results.
The tool provides a practical, reliable way to assess agricultural water use, and others a means to engage growers and stakeholders in identifying efficient water management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1179
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date24 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Water footprint
  • FAO56
  • Crop water use
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Water resource management
  • Irrigation requirements


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