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
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
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
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
Most of the world’s water problems, and their solutions, are directly related to policies and governance, both specific to water and in general. Two of the world’s leading journals in this area, the International Journal of Water Resources Development (sponsored by the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico) and Water International (the official journal of the International Water Resources Association), contribute to this special issues series, aimed at disseminating new knowledge on the policy and governance of water resources to a very broad and diverse readership all over the world. The series should be of direct interest to all policy makers, professionals and lay readers concerned with obtaining the latest perspectives on addressing the world’s many water issues.