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Blue water and the consequences of alternative food security policies in the Middle East and North Africa for water security

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  • Larson, Donald F.

Abstract

In the Middle East and North Africa, food security and water security are tightly entwined. In particular, choices about the extent to which food security policies rely on trade rather than domestically produced staples have stark consequences for the region's limited water resources. This paper builds on previous modeling results comparing the cost and benefits of policies to protect consumers against surging international wheat prices, and expands the analysis to consider the consequences of the policies for water resources. A self-sufficiency policy is analyzed as well. Results suggest that trade-based food security policies have no significant effect on the sustainability of water resources, while the costs of policies based on self-sufficiency for water resources are high. The analysis also shows that while information about the water footprint of alternative production systems is helpful, a corresponding economic footprint that fully measures the resource cost of water is needed to concisely rank alternative policies in economic terms that are consistent with sustainable outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6464.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6464

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Keywords: Town Water Supply and Sanitation; Food&Beverage Industry; Water and Industry; Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions; Water Supply and Systems;

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  1. Timothy Considine & Donald F. Larson, 2012. "Short Term Electric Production Technology Switching Under Carbon Cap and Trade," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(10), pages 4165-4185, October.
  2. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will & Zaman, Hassan, 2011. "Estimating the short-run poverty impacts of the 2010-11 surge in food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5633, The World Bank.
  3. Considine, Timothy J. & Larson, Donald F., 2004. "The environment as a factor of production," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3271, The World Bank.
  4. Julian Lampietti & Donald F. Larson & Michelle Battat & Dana Erekat & Arnold De Hartog & Sean Michaels, 2011. "The Grain Chain : Food Security and Managing Wheat Imports in Arab Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10425, The World Bank.
  5. Quentin Wodon & Hassan Zaman, 2010. "Higher Food Prices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty Impact and Policy Responses," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 157-176, February.
  6. Headey, Derek, 2011. "Rethinking the global food crisis: The role of trade shocks," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 136-146, April.
  7. Donald F. Larson & Jock R. Anderson & Panos Varangis, 2004. "Policies on Managing Risk in Agricultural Markets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 199-230.
  8. Larson, Donald F. & Parks, Paul, 1999. "Risks, lessons learned, and secondary markets for greenhouse gas reductions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2090, The World Bank.
  9. Aldaya, M.M. & Allan, J.A. & Hoekstra, A.Y., 2010. "Strategic importance of green water in international crop trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 887-894, February.
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