Advances in Water Resources | VOL. 110

Floods and food security: A method to estimate the effect of inundation on crops availability

Publication Date Dec 1, 2017


Abstract The inner connections between floods and food security are extremely relevant, especially in developing countries where food availability can be highly jeopardized by extreme events that damage the primary access to food, i.e. agriculture. A method for the evaluation of the effects of floods on food supply, consisting of the integration of remote sensing data, agricultural statistics and water footprint databases, is proposed and applied to two different case studies. Based on the existing literature related to extreme floods, the events in Bangladesh (2007) and in Pakistan (2010) have been selected as exemplary case studies. Results show that the use of remote sensing data combined with other sources of onsite information is particularly useful to assess the effects of flood events on food availability. The damages caused by floods on agricultural areas are estimated in terms of crop losses and then converted into lost calories and water footprint as complementary indicators. Method results are fully repeatable; whereas, for remote sensed data the sources of data are valid worldwide and the data regarding land use and crops characteristics are strongly site specific, which need to be carefully evaluated. A sensitivity analysis has been carried out for the water depth critical on the crops in Bangladesh, varying the assumed level by ±20%. The results show a difference in the energy content losses estimation of 12% underlying the importance of an accurate data choice.


Events In Bangladesh Crops In Bangladesh Food Availability Water Footprint Food Security Complementary Indicators Agricultural Statistics Crops Characteristics Agricultural Areas Food Supply

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