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Title Assessment of Water Footprints in Betwa River Basin under Limited Data Availability
Author Name Santosh S. Mali
Abstract

In the context of intensive water consumption patterns emanating from urbanization and accelerated economic growth, water footprint (WF) has been recognized as comprehensive measure to promote efficient, equitable and sustainable use of water resources. In the present study, the WF of a river basin was assessed and blue, green and grey water footprints of major water-consuming sectors of agriculture, domestic and industry within the Betwa river basin were quantified. Sustainability of the blue and grey WFs were analysed to identify temporal hotspots wherein water consumption and pollution infringed upon environment flow requirements. Total annual WF of the Betwa river basin was estimated as 9186 Mm3. Agricultural sector was the largest water consumer accounting for 96.4 % of the total WF, followed by the industrial and domestic sectors (2.2 %). The WF of rainfed and irrigated agriculture was 3868 and 4986 Mm3, respectively. The comparable proportions of blue (45.5 %) and green (43.6 %) WFs in total WF highlighted equal dependence on rainfall, surface water and groundwater resources. The study demonstrated that consumption-based approach of WF provided more realistic estimates of the water uses at river basin scale. Higher values of sustainability indicators like Blue Water Scarcity Index (>400 during December, January and February) and Water Pollution Index (>135 during January and February) indicated that the pattern of human consumption of blue water and resultant pollution was encroaching into environmental flows within the Betwa river basin.

Keyword water footprints , betwa river , ,
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