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《Journal of Irrigation and Drainage》 2018-09
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Study on the Water Footprint of Maize under Mulched Drip Irrigation in a Semiarid Region of Northeast China

TAN Zhixiang;ZHANG Zhongxue;NIE Tangzhe;College of Water Conservancy and Architecture, Northeast Agricultural University;Key Laboratory of High Efficiency Utilization of Agriculture Water Resources Ministry of Agriculture;  
【Objective】Water footprint of crop growing at field scale plays an important role in developing sustainable agricultural water use strategy, and this paper aimed to investigate the changes in the water footprint of maize production in a semi-arid area of Northeast China.【Method】We conducted a three-year field experiment.During the experiment, the composition of blue, green and grey water during the whole growth season of maize under mulched drip irrigation was determined. We also analyzed soil water balance and the water footprint under different temperatures, precipitation and irrigation timing.【Result】(1)In the water footprint for the maize production, the green water footprint accounted for 65.5%~67.9%, blue water footprint for 8.7%~9.4%, and gray water for 23.3%~25.1%.(2)When temporal rainfall distribution can meet the water demand of the maize, the effective precipitation accounted for 103.2% of the green water. High temperature and sufficient effective precipitation at the peak of water consumption by the maize could significantly increase the yield, thus effectively reducing the water footprint.(3)In years with large water deficit, under the same total amount of irrigation, reducing irrigation frequency during peaking water consumption period could effectively increase yield and thereby reduce water footprint.(4)An even rainfall distribution in the growth season of the maize reduced its yield and increased the water footprint.【Conclusion】According to our experimental results, the green water resources in the maize production can be effectively protected by plastic film mulching. It is necessary to formulate a reasonable irrigation schedule for different hydrological years to enhance the yield and reduce the water footprint.
【Fund】: 国家科技支撑计划项目(2014BAD12B01)
【CateGory Index】: S275.6;S513
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