Pathways to reduce the environmental footprints of water and energy inputs in food production
With climate change and population growth, the pathways for reducing the environmental footprint of food production are increasingly sought, but poorly understood. This paper sketches the environmental footprints of water and energy use in food production systems. The main objective is to present an empirical application, to help identify the main pathways to reducing the footprints. The agricultural system of rice, wheat, and barley production on selected farms in the southern Murray Darling Basin in Australia is used as a case study. Further insights are gained through a review of the data published in pre eminent journals. Together the analysis indicates that boosting water productivity and improving energy use efficiency in crop production operations are the two possible pathways to reducing the environmental footprints of water and energy inputs in food production. These generic conclusions have implications for water, food and environment policy.
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