Water resources conservation and nitrogen pollution reduction under global food trade and agricultural intensification

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Water resources conservation and nitrogen pollution reduction under global food trade and agricultural intensification. / Liu, Wenfeng; Yang, Hong; Liu, Yu; Kummu, Matti; Hoekstra, Arjen Y.; Liu, Junguo; Schulin, Rainer.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 633, 15.08.2018, p. 1591-1601.

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Liu, Wenfeng ; Yang, Hong ; Liu, Yu ; Kummu, Matti ; Hoekstra, Arjen Y. ; Liu, Junguo ; Schulin, Rainer. / Water resources conservation and nitrogen pollution reduction under global food trade and agricultural intensification. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2018 ; Vol. 633. pp. 1591-1601.

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@article{ea16005d3e3e4f06a876a1a3a0ebaf05,
title = "Water resources conservation and nitrogen pollution reduction under global food trade and agricultural intensification",
abstract = "Global food trade entails virtual flows of agricultural resources and pollution across countries. Here we performed a global-scale assessment of impacts of international food trade on blue water use, total water use, and nitrogen (N) inputs and on N losses in maize, rice, and wheat production. We simulated baseline conditions for the year 2000 and explored the impacts of an agricultural intensification scenario, in which low-input countries increase N and irrigation inputs to a greater extent than high-input countries. We combined a crop model with the Global Trade Analysis Project model. Results show that food exports generally occurred from regions with lower water and N use intensities, defined here as water and N uses in relation to crop yields, to regions with higher resources use intensities. Globally, food trade thus conserved a large amount of water resources and N applications, and also substantially reduced N losses. The trade-related conservation in blue water use reached 85 km3 y−1, accounting for more than half of total blue water use for producing the three crops. Food exported from the USA contributed the largest proportion of global water and N conservation as well as N loss reduction, but also led to substantial export-associated N losses in the country itself. Under the intensification scenario, the converging water and N use intensities across countries result in a more balanced world; crop trade will generally decrease, and global water resources conservation and N pollution reduction associated with the trade will reduce accordingly. The study provides useful information to understand the implications of agricultural intensification for international crop trade, crop water use and N pollution patterns in the world.",
keywords = "Agricultural intensification, Food trade, GTAP, Nitrogen pollution reduction, PEPIC, Water resources conservation",
author = "Wenfeng Liu and Hong Yang and Yu Liu and Matti Kummu and Hoekstra, {Arjen Y.} and Junguo Liu and Rainer Schulin",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.306",
language = "English",
volume = "633",
pages = "1591--1601",
journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier Science B.V.",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Water resources conservation and nitrogen pollution reduction under global food trade and agricultural intensification

AU - Liu, Wenfeng

AU - Yang, Hong

AU - Liu, Yu

AU - Kummu, Matti

AU - Hoekstra, Arjen Y.

AU - Liu, Junguo

AU - Schulin, Rainer

PY - 2018/8/15

Y1 - 2018/8/15

N2 - Global food trade entails virtual flows of agricultural resources and pollution across countries. Here we performed a global-scale assessment of impacts of international food trade on blue water use, total water use, and nitrogen (N) inputs and on N losses in maize, rice, and wheat production. We simulated baseline conditions for the year 2000 and explored the impacts of an agricultural intensification scenario, in which low-input countries increase N and irrigation inputs to a greater extent than high-input countries. We combined a crop model with the Global Trade Analysis Project model. Results show that food exports generally occurred from regions with lower water and N use intensities, defined here as water and N uses in relation to crop yields, to regions with higher resources use intensities. Globally, food trade thus conserved a large amount of water resources and N applications, and also substantially reduced N losses. The trade-related conservation in blue water use reached 85 km3 y−1, accounting for more than half of total blue water use for producing the three crops. Food exported from the USA contributed the largest proportion of global water and N conservation as well as N loss reduction, but also led to substantial export-associated N losses in the country itself. Under the intensification scenario, the converging water and N use intensities across countries result in a more balanced world; crop trade will generally decrease, and global water resources conservation and N pollution reduction associated with the trade will reduce accordingly. The study provides useful information to understand the implications of agricultural intensification for international crop trade, crop water use and N pollution patterns in the world.

AB - Global food trade entails virtual flows of agricultural resources and pollution across countries. Here we performed a global-scale assessment of impacts of international food trade on blue water use, total water use, and nitrogen (N) inputs and on N losses in maize, rice, and wheat production. We simulated baseline conditions for the year 2000 and explored the impacts of an agricultural intensification scenario, in which low-input countries increase N and irrigation inputs to a greater extent than high-input countries. We combined a crop model with the Global Trade Analysis Project model. Results show that food exports generally occurred from regions with lower water and N use intensities, defined here as water and N uses in relation to crop yields, to regions with higher resources use intensities. Globally, food trade thus conserved a large amount of water resources and N applications, and also substantially reduced N losses. The trade-related conservation in blue water use reached 85 km3 y−1, accounting for more than half of total blue water use for producing the three crops. Food exported from the USA contributed the largest proportion of global water and N conservation as well as N loss reduction, but also led to substantial export-associated N losses in the country itself. Under the intensification scenario, the converging water and N use intensities across countries result in a more balanced world; crop trade will generally decrease, and global water resources conservation and N pollution reduction associated with the trade will reduce accordingly. The study provides useful information to understand the implications of agricultural intensification for international crop trade, crop water use and N pollution patterns in the world.

KW - Agricultural intensification

KW - Food trade

KW - GTAP

KW - Nitrogen pollution reduction

KW - PEPIC

KW - Water resources conservation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85044945085&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.306

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.306

M3 - Article

VL - 633

SP - 1591

EP - 1601

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

ER -

ID: 18936472