Water, energy and food play an important role in promoting regional sustainable development, and agriculture is the main driving force for the coordinated development of WEF nexus. In recent decades, with the adjustment of planting structure, the consumption of agricultural water resources and energy in the Tarim River Basin has increased, and the efficiency of agricultural resources has changed significantly, affecting the coordinated development of the water energy food link in the agricultural management of the Tarim River Basin. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the water energy grain linkage in agricultural management in this region is very important for improving the efficiency of agricultural resource utilization and optimizing agricultural management strategies.
Chen Yaning, a researcher at the State Key Laboratory of desert and oasis ecology, Xinjiang Institute of ecology and geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, based on meteorological, statistical and research data, quantitatively evaluated the water energy food link index of major crops in the Talimu River Basin through crop water demand, energy equivalent and agricultural water energy food index (wefni), revealing the input efficiency of major crop resources.
The research shows that there are significant differences in water resources and energy consumption of major crops (rice, wheat, corn and cotton) in the Tarim River Basin from 1990 to 2019. Wheat has a lower demand for blue water, while cotton has the highest demand. In the past three decades, the agricultural planting area in the Tarim River Basin has increased by 105 × 104 hectares, of which the cotton planting area accounts for about 45%of the total area. The expansion of the planting area leads to the continuous increase of cotton production income, and the highest energy economic efficiency (0.065$/mj). However, the continuous increase in total water and energy consumption has led to lower water and energy production efficiency of cotton than the other three crops. The average water energy food link index of rice, wheat, corn and cotton are 0.40, 0.45, 0.43 and 0.35 respectively. To a certain extent, this shows that the resource input efficiency of wheat is high, while that of cotton is poor.
Relevant research results are based on comprehensive EValue of the water energy food nexus in the agricultural management of the Tarim River Basin, Northwest China. The research work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.