EGU24-13023, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Water Footprints of Growing Maize Crops in the Danube Plain (Bulgaria)

Nina Nikolova and Simeon Matev
Nina Nikolova and Simeon Matev
  • St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, Faculty of Geology and Geography, Department of Climatology, Hydrology and Geomorphology, Sofia, Bulgaria (

The water footprint of maize production is an indicator that provides information not only about direct water use for crop yields but also about indirect water use and virtual water trade. The general aim of the present research is to enlarge the knowledge about climate variability's impact on agriculture concerning improving sustainable water use for crop production. The accent of the proposed work will be on the assessment and analysis of green (rainfed production) and blue (irrigation water) water used for growing maize crops in the Danube Plain (Bulgaria).

The investigation is based on the following data: climatic data (air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, relative humidity); statistical data from agriculture, local authorities, and farmers (data about crop parameters and yields, and irrigation), and geographical data (climatic maps, maps about land use, soil maps, maps of main agricultural plants dissemination). The calculation and assessment of the water footprint of growing maize is done by the application of Cropwat software. The water needed for irrigation under various crop management options is determined. The main investigated period is 1961-2022 but special attention is given to water footprints of maize production during the extreme dry and extreme wet years. The results of the present work allow us to identify the hotspots regarding water use and water scarcity. The knowledge about the water footprint and climate-agriculture relationship could be used in water resources management and for effectively coping with the environmental and economic problems related to water scarcity and drought.

Acknowledgments: This study has been carried out in the framework of the project “The Nexus Approach in Agriculture. The water-food nexus in the context of climate change”, supported by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) of Bulgaria (Agreement № КП-06-КОСТ-2/17.05.2022 and is based upon work from COST Action NEXUSNET, CA20138, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

How to cite: Nikolova, N. and Matev, S.: Water Footprints of Growing Maize Crops in the Danube Plain (Bulgaria), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13023,, 2024.