Looking backward to look forward: water use and economic growth from a long-term perspective
AbstractRecent research has examined the relationship between natural resources and economic growth. Considered vitally important, not only for humanity’s well-being but also for ecosystem integrity, the relationship between water use and economic growth has traditionally garnered little attention by analysts. This paper studies water use trends from 1900 to 2000 throughout the world, and their main determinants. To do this, we first analyse historical water use trajectories. Second, to proceed with the determinants of water use, we reformulate the IPAT equation (Ehrlich and Holdren, 1971; Commoner et al. 1971), decomposing water use trends into changes in economic demands and in water use intensity. Finally, a simple scenario analysis is conducted, to project future water use trends under different economic, demographic and technological assumptions. The empirical evidence shows that economic and population growth have been crucial for explaining the increase in water use over the past 100 years, with significant regional differences. Nevertheless, the decline in water use intensity has been responsible for a significant reduction in the growth of total water use.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Asociación Española de Historia Económica in its series Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) with number 1104.
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Water use; environmental impacts; economic growth; IPAT model; scenario analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
- N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2011-06-25 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2011-06-25 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin Jänicke & Manfred Binder & Harald Mönch, 1997. "‘Dirty industries’: Patterns of change in industrial countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 467-491, June.
- Rosa Duarte & Vicente Pinilla & Ana Serrano, 2012. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for water use? A panel smooth transition regression approach," Documentos de Trabajo dt2012-03, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
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