The Green to Blue Water Continuum: An Approach to Improve Agricultural Systems’ Resilience to Water Scarcity
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Vidal , A. 2010. The Green to Blue Water Continum. In Lundqvist, J. (ed.) 2010. On the Water Front: Selections from the 2009 World Water Week in Stockholm. Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm.
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Access to green and blue water for agriculture is not simply addressed by opposing rainfed and irrigated agriculture. Indeed, agricultural systems have never been strictly rainfed or irrigated. History of Mesopotamia teaches us that even if farmers were mastering some irrigation, they were not operating under full irrigation nor were they cultivating only using rainwater. Between irrigated and rainfed agricultural, the farmers reality has been that they simply have never grown any crop without water, which they have stored, mobilized and applied to plants by different ways depending on the nature of the resource available. Irrigated farmers typically also use green water and rainfed farmers sometimes also use blue water, even in the absence of formal irrigation systems. In a nutshell, farmers’ reality around the world have always been to deal with a green to blue water continuum, from which they have struggled to extract the best productive value.