Understanding Irrigation Water Applied, Consumptive Water Use, and Water Footprint Using Case Studies for Container Nursery Production and Greenhouse Crops
Knight, J.; Ingram, D.L.; Hall, C.R.
Horttechnology 29(6): 693-699
The understanding, calculation, and comparison of water footprint (WF) among specialty crop growers are confounded by geography, species, and process. This study builds on published models of representative plant production systems developed using life cycle assessment. These models include container production using recycled water in the mid-Atlantic, southeastern, and Pacific northwestern regions of the United States and greenhouse production implementing rainfall capture and overhead and ebb/flood irrigation strategies. Production systems using recycled water compare favorably in consumptive water use (CWU) with those that do not, regardless of the water source. Production systems in geographic locations with high water availability compare favorably with production systems in locations with high water scarcity in WF, but not necessarily CWU.