Water footprint (WF) is a measure of the amount of water used to produce goods and services. It is a very important concept on indicating how much water can be consumed to complete a process of growing or processing a product at a particular location. However, paucity of water footprint information in countries facing increased competition for water resources between industries limits market access and profit optimization. Water footprint differences of producing selected cultivars of potato, oca and pumpkin squash were determined under irrigation and rain-fed regimes. All crop husbandry practices were followed in potato, oca (3.3 plants m−2) and pumpkin squash (2.2 plants m−2). Water footprint was determined as the ratio of volume of evapotranspiration for irrigated and rain-fed crops plus grey water to total yield. The consumptive water use for the rain-fed crop was 75, 65 and 69% of the irrigated oca, potato and pumpkin squash, respectively, with high water consumption in heritage cultivars. The water footprint was low in pumpkin squash and highest in oca, while potato cultivars were intermediate. Irrigation reduced water footprint especially in crops more responsive to irrigation. Farmers should focus on improving the harvest index and irrigation to reduce water footprint.
Part of the book: Irrigation in Agroecosystems