How To Measure the Water Usage in Agriculture
Eva Laczka
Central Statistical Office of Hungary

The new global challenge is the climate change in which water is one of the most affected natural resource. According to statistical data, significant part of water is used for agricultural water consumption. Irrigation is expected to have a more significant role not only in arid or semi-arid areas, but also in Europe, including Hungary as well. To assess the agricultural water consumption, it is not only necessary to know where irrigation is possible (irrigable area), but also where irrigation runs (irrigated area), the types of irrigation techniques applied and the quantity of water consumed by the different types of holdings. In the past years international and national users have expressed their strong interest also for data on water usage for irrigation at holding level that could be linked to the EU Farm Structure Survey data allowing in-depth socio-economic analyses too. The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) has been publishing data on irrigation in the frame of annual survey for decades, but currently it covers only the irrigable and actually irrigated areas, and the total amount of water used for irrigation. In order to fulfill the new information needs the alternative is to collect data directly from holders by new surveys (it would be additional burden on the respondents, and would be costly) or modeling the data based on existing statistical and administrative data sources (it would not generate additional response and financial burden). The HCSO has decided to develop a model which provides data on the water volume used for irrigation taking into account the irrigation methods by crops, types and size groups of holdings.

Keywords: Water usage in agriculture; Irrigation; New data needs; The model provides data on irrigation by crops, types and size groups of holdings

Biography: Deputy President of the Hungarian Statistical Office.

Gratuated in 1972 at the Kossuth Lajos University (Debrecen, Hungary).

Passed a Ph.D. degree at the Szent István University (Gödöllö, Hungary) in 2004.

Since 1998 she has been the Secretary General of the Hungarian Statistical Society; since 2001 member of the ISI.