Water-Energy Nexus // Quantifying Water and Energy Linkages in Irrigation: Experiences From Viet Nam
There is a need to better understand the feasibility of and incentives for farmers for adopting High-efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS) such as drip and sprinkler irrgations systems for various cropping systems and associated tradeoffs. To better understand energy utilization in irrigated agriculture, ADB financed a study for Pilot and Demonstration Field-Based Research: Quantifying Water and Energy Links in Irrigation for Improved Resource Utilization in Viet Nam. The study was conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with support from a Viet Nam-based consultant within a suitable area identified in the central highlands of Viet Nam.
The study was conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with support from a Viet Nam-based consultant within a suitable area identified in the central highlands of Viet Nam. The study is linked to an ADB-financed project preparation technical assistance for Water Efficiency Improvement in Drought Affected Provinces (WEIDAP). The project is under implementation in Viet Nam and aims to provide improved water saving practices and technologies for high value crop cultivation in the central highlands region.
Global water demand is projected to grow by 55%, due to increasing requirements from manufacturing, thermal electricity generation, and domestic use but most freshwater resources will continue to be used for irrigation. Competing demands for finite water resources in Asia are increasingly putting the livelihoods of billions of people in Asia at risk.
While Asia is the world’s most dynamic region with the fastest economic growth in the world, 29 of the 48 countries assessed by the Asian Water Development Outlook 2016 are water insecure. If left unmanaged, and with the adverse impacts of climate change, this poses a real threat to continued growth and prosperity.
Water and energy are intrinsically linked. Almost all energy generation processes require significant amounts of water, ranging from hydropower to thermal electricity generation. At the same time, energy is typically needed to make water available for human use. Lifting water for irrigated agriculture is a particularly energy-intensive process. Yet, there is limited information to quantify the use of energy in irrigated agriculture.
With growing pressures on increasingly scarce and finite water resources, the region must move toward the reduction of water use per unit of crop produced. A key avenue is through the installation of High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS) such as drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. While such technologies generally use more energy than traditional surface irrigation (which is still largely gravity-fed), the drive toward increasing crop production with less water has resulted in the encouragement to adopt HEIS more widely.
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