With burgeoning population, the demand for food and water is on the rise in India. Most of the river basins are water insecure and in food deficit. Water security can be defined relative to sustainable water. The study estimates the average virtual water (from wheat and rice consumption) for India. The North-East appears to have average virtual water in the order of 350–450 m3/cap/year, while Gujarat and Maharashtra have lowest average virtual water in the order of 130–160 m3/cap/year. The national average virtual water is 300 m3/cap/year. Non-dimensional virtual water scarcity index (NVWSI) is proposed in this study for India. This index is composed of four basic parameters: population of the state, average virtual water per capita (from wheat and rice consumption), area of the state, and average rainfall in the state. The parameters of population and virtual water indicate to the volumetric consumption of water, while the area rainfall indicates to the volumetric availability of water. The ratio of total volumetric consumption to total volumetric availability is designated as NVWSI and it signals water scarcity. Population density and food consuming habits are the main factors contributing to the high NVWSI for India. An NVWSI map is generated for India which opens up immense opportunities and possibilities of virtual water trade between Indian states to improve water security. Alterations in food consumption habits (hypothetical scenario) in high NVWSI region indicate significant change in water security scenario at local levels. The study proposes the idea of changing food consumption habit through virtual water trade to improve water security at local scale.
Sustainable Water Resources Management – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2017
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