1st Edition

Virtual Water Implications for Agriculture and Trade

Edited By Chittaranjan Ray, David McInnes, Matthew Sanderson Copyright 2020
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    Virtual Water explores the role of "virtual water" – the water embedded in a product – in ongoing conversations of agriculture, trade and sustainability in an increasingly inter-connected world.

    A pervasive theme throughout the book is the general lack of knowledge of the use of water in producing and consuming food. The chapters, arising from a workshop supported by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme: Biological Resources Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, on virtual water, agriculture and trade at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, consider questions of gaps in knowledge, why sustainability matters and the policy implications of virtual water trade. Contributors show how water is a lens through which to examine an array of vital issues facing humanity and the planet: human and animal health; food production; environmental management; resource consumption; climate change adaptation and mitigation; economic development, trade and competitiveness; and ethics and consumer trust.

    Virtual Water will be of great interest to scholars of water, resource management and consumption, the environmental aspects of development, agriculture and food production.

    It originally published as a special issue of Water International.

    Introduction: Virtual water: its implications on agriculture and trade

    Chittaranjan Ray, David McInnes and Matthew Sanderson

    1. The water footprint of the EU: quantification, sustainability and relevance

    Davy Vanham

    2. The exposure of a fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain to global water-related risks

    Tim Hess and Chloe Sutcliffe

    3. Advising Morocco: adopting recommendations of a water footprint assessment would increase risk and impair food security for the country and its farmers

    Dennis Wichelns

    4. Future crop yields and water productivity changes for Nebraska rainfed and irrigated crops

    Yaqiong Lu, Xianyu Yang and Lara Kueppers

    5. Can Sub-Saharan Africa feed itself? The role of irrigation development in the region’s drylands for food security

    Hua Xie, Nicostrato Perez, Weston Anderson, Claudia Ringler and Liangzhi You

    6. Sustainability of aquifers supporting irrigated agriculture: a case study of the High Plains aquifer in Kansas

    James J. Butler, Donald O. Whittemore, B. Brownie Wilson and Geoffrey C. Bohling

    7. Irrigation variability and climate change affect derived distributions of simulated water recharge and nitrate leaching

    Timothy R. Green and Saseendran S. Anapalli

    8. The water footprint challenge for water resources management in Chilean arid zones

    Pablo Álvarez

    9. The effect of diet changes and food loss reduction in reducing the water footprint of an average American

    Mesfin M. Mekonnen and Julian Fulton

    10. Water footprint for Korean rice products and virtual water trade in a water-energy-food nexus

    Sang-Hyun Lee, Jin-Yong Choi, Seung-Hwan Yoo and Rabi H. Mohtar

    11. Water footprint of beef production on Texas High Plains pasture

    Charles P. West and Lisa L. Baxter

    12. Tradeoffs in the water-energy- food nexus in the urbanizing Asia-Pacific region

    Makoto Taniguchi, Naoki Masuhara and Shun Teramoto


    Chittaranjan Ray serves as the Director of Nebraska Water Center at Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, and is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. Besides his leadership role in water at the university, his research focuses on water quality impacts from agriculture.

    David McInnes is Principal of DMci Strategies, where he is a Strategic Advisor, Speaker and Facilitator on change and opportunity facing the global food system. He is also a Senior Fellow at Canada 2020, an independent, progressive think-tank, where he leads the Canada Food Brand project. Dr McInnes is also a Contributing Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit, and an Advisor to the Delegation of Canada for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.

    Matthew R. Sanderson is the Randall C. Hill Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA. His research focuses on the demographic and environmental aspects of development in global political-economic context.