From global goals to local gains—a framework for crop water productivity

Megan Leigh Blatchford, Poolad Karimi, W. G.M. Bastiaanssen, Hamideh Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Crop water productivity (CWP) has become a recognised indicator in assessing the state of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6.4—to substantially increase water use efficiency. This indicator, while useful at a global scale, is not comprehensive at a local scale. To fill this gap, this research proposes a CWP framework, that takes advantage of the spatio-temporal availability of remote sensing, that identifies CWP goals and sub-indicators specific to the needs of the targeted domain. Three sub-indicators are considered; (i) a global water productivity score (GWPS), (ii) a local water productivity score (LWPS) and (iii) a land and water use productivity score (YWPS). The GWPS places local CWP in the global context and focuses on maximised CWP. The LWPS differentiates yield zones, normalising for potential product, and focuses on minimising water consumption. The YWPS focuses simultaneously on improving land and water productivity equally. The CWP framework was applied to potato in the West Bank, Palestine. Three management practices were compared under each sub-indicator. The case study showed that fields with high and low performance were different under each sub-indicator. The performance associated with different management practices was also different under each sub-indicator. For example, a winter rotation had a higher performance under the YWPS, the fall rotation had a higher performance under the LWPS and under the GWPS there was little difference. The results showed, that depending on the basin goal, not only do the sub-indicators required change, but also the management practices or approach required to reach those basin goals. This highlights the importance of providing a CWP framework with multiple sub-indicators, suitable to basin needs, to ensure that meeting the SDG 6.4 goal does not jeopardise local objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number414
Number of pages26
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Evapotranspiration
  • Indicators
  • Palestine
  • Potato
  • Remote sensing
  • Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL)
  • Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Yield


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