Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 155–175 | Cite as

Regional analyses of water use in Japanese paddy rice cultivation using modified water footprint indexes

  • Susumu UchidaEmail author


Water use in paddy rice cultivation was evaluated from the perspective of the environmental impact of water resource consumption for seven regions in Japan. Water resources can be appropriately discussed on a flow basis, and the impact of water consumption depends on the available water flow, which varies largely by time and location, in addition to the amount of water consumption itself. In this study, differential and integral water footprints were used as the indexes for the analyses. These indexes were previously developed and can help draw conclusions regarding the continuous impact of consumption on the water resources on a flow basis, taking into account the regional and temporal conditions of water supply. The results showed that the impact of water consumption was higher in regions with less amount of river flow. In particular, a large variation of impact, with temporally high values, was observed in such regions. These results suggest the necessity of water management on the basis of not only total or average water flow, but also temporal variation.


Water footprint Rice Water resource Environmental impact 

JEL Classification

Q15 Q25 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25550045 and 15KT0114. We very much appreciate anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the manuscript.


  1. Borrell A, Garside A, Fukai S (1997) Improving efficiency of water use for irrigated rice in a semi-arid tropical environment. Field Crops Res 52:231–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bouwer H (2000) Integrated water management: emerging issues and challenges. Agric Water Manag 45:217–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cao X, Wu M, Guo X, Zheng Y, Gong Y, Wu N, Wang W (2017) Assessing water scarcity in agricultural production system based on the generalized water resources and water footprint framework. Sci Total Environ 609:587–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cao X, Wu M, Shu R, Zhuo L, Chen D, Shao G, Guo X, Wang W, Tang S (2018) Water footprint assessment for crop production based on field measurements: a case study of irrigated paddy rice in East China. Sci Total Environ 610–611:84–93Google Scholar
  5. Casolani N, Pattara C, Liberatore L (2016) Water and carbon footprint perspective in Italian durum wheat production. Land Use Policy 58:394–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapagain AK, Hoekstra AY (2004) Water footprints of nations. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 16. UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapagain AK, Hoekstra AY (2010) The green, blue and grey water footprint of rice from both a production and consumption perspective. Value of Water Research Report Series No.40, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapagain AK, Hoekstra AY (2011) The blue, green and grey water footprint of rice from production and consumption perspectives. Ecol Econ 70:749–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hess T, Chatterton J, Daccache A, Williams A (2016) The impact of changing food choices on the blue water scarcity footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of the British diet: the example of potato, pasta and rice. J Clean Prod 112:4558–4568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoekstra AY (2016) A critique on the water-scarcity weighted water footprint in LCA. Ecol Ind 66:564–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kato Y, Okami M, Katsura K (2009) Yield potential and water use efficiency of aerobic rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Japan. Field Crops Res 113:328–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kudo Y, Noborio K, Shimoozono N (2014) The effective water management practice for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining rice yield in central Japan. Agr Ecosyst Environ 186:77–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lovarelli D, Bacenetti J, Fiala M (2016) Water Footprint of crop productions: a review. Sci Total Environ 548–549:236–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marano RP, Filippi RA (2015) Water Footprint in paddy rice systems. Its determination in the provinces of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos, Argentina. Ecol Ind 56:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maruyama S, Kabaki N, Tajima K (1985) Water consumptions in Japonica and Indica rice varieties. Jpn J Crop Sci 54:32–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (2017) Annual report. Accessed 10 Sep 2017 (in Japanese)
  17. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2002) Water information system. Accessed 10 July 2016
  18. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2003) Water circulation and water resources. Accessed 30 Aug 2017 (in Japanese)
  19. National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (2009) MeteoCrop DB. Accessed 15 July 2016
  20. Oki T, Kanae S (2007) Current situation and future perspectives on global hydrologic cycles, water balances, and world freshwater resources. J Geogr 116:31–42 (in Japanese) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ridoutt BG, Pfister S (2010) A revised approach to water footprinting to make transparent the impacts of consumption and production on global freshwater scarcity. Glob Environ Change 20:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shiklomanov IA (1997) Comprehensive assessment of the freshwater resources of the world: assessment of water resources and water availability in the world. WMO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  23. Stoeglehner G, Edwards P, Daniels P, Narodoslawsky M (2011) The water supply footprint (WSF): a strategic planning tool for sustainable regional and local water supplies. J Clean Prod 19:1677–1686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Su MH, Huang CH, Li WY, Tso CT, Lur HS (2015) Water footprint analysis of bioethanol energy crops in Taiwan. J Clean Prod 88:132–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thanawong K, Perret SR, Basset-Mens C (2014) Eco-efficiency of paddy rice production in Northeastern Thailand: a comparison of rain-fed and irrigated cropping systems. J Clean Prod 73:204–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Uchida S, Hayashi K (2014) Indices of water footprint on the basis of the concept of acceptable delay in water use: their application to evaluation of agricultural production. J Life Cycle Assess Jpn 10:40–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Uchida S, Hayashi K, Sato M, Hokazono S (2010) Construction of agri-environmental data using computational methods: the case of life cycle inventories for agricultural production systems. In: Prado HAdo, Luiz AJB, Filho HC (eds) Computational methods applied to agricultural research: techniques and advances. IGI Global, Hershey, pp 412–433Google Scholar
  28. Wopereis MCS, Boumanc BAM, Kropffb MJ, Ten Bergec HFM, Maligayab AR (1994) Water use efficiency of flooded rice fields I. Validation of the soil-water balance model SAWAH. Agric Water Manag 26:277–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japan Section of the Regional Science Association International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Regional and Environmental Science, College of AgricultureIbaraki UniversityInashikiJapan

Personalised recommendations