Quantitation of the green, blue and grey water footprints (WFs) of crop production can distinguish the water types and amount in crop production, as well as the degree of freshwater pollution. This paper calculates the WF of maize production and assesses the temporal variability and spatial distribution of WFs in different types of rainfall years over Jilin Province from 1998 to 2012. The results indicated that: (1) the annual average WF of maize production was 1,067 m3/ton, which was 53% green, 24% blue and 23% grey (maize production in Jilin Province relies primarily on green water); (2) the drier the year, the higher the WF of maize production; (3) the highest WF of maize production values among 49 counties in the province were in Antu and Tumen counties, whereas the lowest values occurred in Gongzhuling and Lishu counties, whether the year was humid, average or dry; and (4) the WF of maize production was highest in the eastern region, moderate in the western region and lowest in the middle region.

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