Virtual Water and Food Security in Tunisian Semi-Arid Region
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 3, Issue 5, October 2014, Pages: 341-345
Received: Aug. 17, 2014;
Accepted: Sep. 15, 2014;
Published: Sep. 30, 2014
Views 2891 Downloads 256
Lamia Lajili-Ghezal, ESA Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia
Talel Stambouli, ESA Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia
Marwa Weslati, ESA Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia
Asma Souissi, ESA Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia
Follow on us
To confront water scarcity and support food security, the concept of virtual water is used. As defined by Allan (1997) virtual water is “the water embedded in key water-intensive commodities such as wheat” or “the water required for the production of commodities”. The importance of this concept is related to its potential contribution for saving water, especially in water short regions like Tunisia. This research study tries to evaluate the strategic importance of polluted or gray water, which is a component of virtual water. Reduction of virtual water for strategic agricultural products can be obtained by the gray water reduction. The latter is defined as “water required diluting polluted water to reach the normalized quality, different with countries”. Water pollution is especially related to use of chemical products (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) for some crops like vegetables. Besides having a lower opportunity cost, the use of green water for crop production has generally less negative environmental externalities than the use of blue water (irrigation with water abstracted from ground or surface water systems). Tunisia exports some crops and gray water volumes in exports have rarely been estimated. Thus, estimation of gray water plays a role in ensuring water and water-dependent food security and avoiding further potential damage to the water environments in both importing and exporting countries. In this context, Tunisian semi-arid region is chosen because the presence of a long period of dry and shiny, occurring after a cold and rainy one, useful for vegetables crops and family food security. The aim of this study is to present: Methodologies which can be used to reduce virtual water for some strategic vegetables crops in Tunisian semi-arid region, based on irrigation techniques improvements and the control of runoff and leaching water; Resources management practices that can be used to improve family income, especially women and children and target food security.
Virtual Water, Food Security, Water Quality Conservation, Family Income, Gender
To cite this article
Virtual Water and Food Security in Tunisian Semi-Arid Region, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Vol. 3, No. 5,
2014, pp. 341-345.
"Allan, J.A., 1997. “Virtual water”: A Long Term Solution for Water Short Middle Eastern Economies? : Occasional paper, no. 3. Water Issues Study Group, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Allen, R.G., Pereira, L.S., Raes, D., Smith, M., 1998. Crop evapotranspiration: guidelines for computing crop water requirements, FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.
Cuenca, R.H., 1989. Irrigation System Design: An Engineering Approach. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA, 552 pp.
FAO, 2009. CROPWAT 8.0 model, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy. [online] www.fao.org/nr/water/infores_databases_cropwat.html. [Accessed on March 2012].
Hoekstra, A.Y., Chapagain, A.K., Aldaya, M.M. and Mekonnen, M.M., 2009. Water footprint manual: State of the art 2009, Water Footprint Network, Enschede, the Netherlands.
Loiseau, E. 2010. Environmental impacts evaluations methods of water use. Bibliotheque synthesis. AgroParisTech–ENGREF centre de Montpellier. 18p
ONAGRI, 2010: http://www.onagri.tn/STATISTIQUES/ENQUTES%20STRUCTURES/ESEA%202004-2005.htm#_Toc125361774. [Accessed on May 2012].
Point Focal Tunisien du SEMIDE, (2002). http://www.semide.tn/english/contressource.htm Accessed on 20/07/2013
Smith, M., 1993. CLIMWAT for CROPWAT, a climatic database for irrigation planning and management. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 49, Rome, 113 pp.
Velázquez, E., (2007).Water trade in Andalusia. Virtual water: An alternative way to manage water use. Ecological economics Vol. (63), (201-208). "