Water Footprint of Rice Production in Malaysia: A Review of Evapotranspiration and Factors of Climate Change for Rice and Food Security in Malaysia


  • Nurfarhain Mohamed Rusli School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Zainura Zainon Noor Centre of Environment Sustainable and Water Security, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Shazwin Mat Taib Centre of Environment Sustainable and Water Security, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Noor Salehan Mohammad Sabli School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia




Water Footprint, Evapotranspiration, climate change, yield


Rice is a special crop that requires a thin layer of water to produce, and is produced differently from other crops. The rice sectors in Malaysia continue to be developed in a proactive and progressive manner. Due to its growth process, rice has a different water footprint (WF) compared to other crops. This study improved the calculation of the blue and green WF of rice production and examined the variations of these footprints under the primary granary area of Malaysia. The effects of climate change will, however, make it more difficult to achieve food security and increase rice yields in the future. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss climate change impacts on rice production and food security in Malaysia. Many countries worldwide are becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters due to climate change. Many climate models predict a decline in agricultural productivity due to excessive heat in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is no exception. Therefore, the present study examined the impact of climate change on rice yields in Muda Granary, Malaysia. Utilizing literature reviews, we assessed the value of evapotranspiration (ET) in order to calculate the green WF for the area. Climate variables (such as ET), yield, and variance of impact during the main season and off-season were the primary objectives of the study. Precipitation did not show a statistically significant difference between the main and off-seasons from 2011-2015. During the main crop season, the maximum ET was negatively associated with yield, but the minimum ET showed a positive association. In the off-season, green WF levels were higher than those in the main season. These findings indicate that climate change poses a serious threat to rice production, which will in turn affect food security as they are highly interconnected. Thus, it is high time for Malaysia to revamp its paddy and rice intervention strategies by giving due attention to enhancing the adaptive capacity of rice farmers to cope with climate change.


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