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date: 22 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Green water is defined as the water in soil that is potentially available to plants for uptake and subsequent transpiration. Despite the fact that crop biomass is directly related to transpiration and the global transpiration flow alone matches that of all the rivers in the world, green water has until recently been largely neglected in research on food security. That long neglect is redressed by a review of recent research on the role of green water in the production of agricultural commodities to meet current and future world food demand, including how the differences in water requirement between plant-based and animal-based commodities play out in respect to the food-water nexus. Informed by current literature, a case is made for optimizing green water management to achieve a global increase in food production from 20 to 40 percent without an expansion of either agricultural land use or the volume of water withdrawn for irrigation.

Keywords: agricultural production, food security, green water, human nutrition, water footprint

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