Water footprint assessments of dehydrated onion products of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd – A report by IFC

Documenting the water consumption in Jain Irrigation Systems Limited’s (JISL) production of dehydrated onions and of micro-irrigation systems.

This work on water footprint assessments represents a pioneering effort on documenting the water consumption in Jain Irrigation Systems Limited’s (JISL) production of dehydrated onions and of micro-irrigation systems. It also assesses the sustainability of this water consumption and formulate response strategies. 

JISL’s water footprint response strategy provides a strong foundation for increasing farm resilience in the face of climate change, for sustainably meeting the growing global demand for food, for enhancing social well-being, and for reducing water-related risks to JISL’s business.

At a local level, the strategy validates JISL’s critical efforts that are making a profound difference in farmers’ lives by providing extra income and sustaining rural livelihoods. At a regional level, the strategy will help increase water supply, and decrease demand for water. At a global level, the strategy provides an example of private sector engagement in sustainable water management, with concrete examples of corporate response strategies.

The accounting results are summarized below.

  • The results indicate that water consumed at the farms accounts for 99 per cent of the total water footprint of dehydrated onions. The water footprint of dehydrated onions accounts for water consumed in the supply chain to grow the onions, the production of micro irrigation systems used on the onion farms, and in operations for dehydrated onion production.
  • Onions grown under drip irrigation have a 42 per cent smaller water footprint than onions grown under flood irrigation. The largest component of both water footprints is the blue water footprint, associated with irrigation.
  • The grey water footprint for onions grown under drip irrigation is almost 90 per cent smaller than the grey water footprint for flood-irrigated onions, reflecting the reduced application requirements and lower leaching rate when water and nutrients are applied at the root zone of the plants using drip irrigation.
  • The results for drip irrigation indicate that most of the water footprint lies in the supply chain, associated with production of raw materials (plastics) and accounting for 73 to 96 per cent of the total water footprint.
  • The water footprint of drip irrigation used on a typical onion field is a negligible component of the total water footprint for growing onions.
  • The water consumption associated with JISL’s production of dehydrated onions and micro irrigation systems accounts for approximately 1 per cent of total groundwater draft in Jalgaon District.

JISL’s water footprint response strategies provide a strong foundation for resilience in the face of climate change, and for sustainably meeting the growing global demand for food. As such, these approaches are of global importance as examples of a significant corporate response to agricultural water scarcity.

Download the report here

 

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