EGU24-2345, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sustainable Irrigation is Promising for Alleviating Global Water Stress

Zhipin Ai1, Naota Hanasaki2, Fadong Li1, and Xin Zhao2
Zhipin Ai et al.
  • 1Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (
  • 2National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Irrigation causes serious water stress in a wide range of areas around the world. It remains unknown whether and to what extent global water stress can be alleviated by the sustainable use of water resources for irrigation. Here, we delineated a new distribution of global irrigated croplands via strict conservation of available water resources for crop irrigation using an internally consistent model framework. Then, we compared the differences in global water stress under the conditions of current and re-delineated irrigated croplands, respectively. We demonstrated that irrigation on the re-delineated irrigated croplands can largely alleviate global water stress, particularly for areas currently facing high or very high water stress. The results also indicated that irrigated cropland re-delineation would have a limited negative impact on the production of 4 major crops of maize, wheat, rice, and soybean. Our findings highlight importance of sustainable irrigation water management for food production and its potential benefits for alleviating water stress.

How to cite: Ai, Z., Hanasaki, N., Li, F., and Zhao, X.: Sustainable Irrigation is Promising for Alleviating Global Water Stress, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2345,, 2024.