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Systemic Input-Output Computation of Green and Blue Virtual Water ‘Flows’ with an Illustration for the Mediterranean Region

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  • M. Antonelli
  • R. Roson

    ()

  • M. Sartori

Abstract

The term virtual water refers to the volume of water used in the production of a commodity or service. Accordingly, virtual water ‘trade’ is the amount of water ‘embedded’ in commodities being transferred from one place to another as a consequence of trade. This paper argues that the conventional methods so far adopted for the computation of virtual water ‘flows’ (based on Hoekstra and Hung 2002 ) have considered only direct water usage and not sufficiently distinguished between blue and green water resources. This has brought about flawed estimates of virtual water ‘flows’, thereby limiting the usefulness of the virtual water concept as a tool for informing water policy. A novel approach for computing virtual water ‘flows’ which applies the Input–output (IO) methodology to account for both direct and indirect water consumption, and simultaneously distinguishes between the different typologies of water, is presented. The study upholds that the integration of these two methods can not only provide a more robust framework for quantifying virtual water ‘flows’, but also enhance the relevance of the concept as a tool for water resource management policy. The implications of these alternative estimation methods are here illustrated using data referring to 11 Mediterranean economies and 7 internationally traded agricultural commodities. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • M. Antonelli & R. Roson & M. Sartori, 2012. "Systemic Input-Output Computation of Green and Blue Virtual Water ‘Flows’ with an Illustration for the Mediterranean Region," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 26(14), pages 4133-4146, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:waterr:v:26:y:2012:i:14:p:4133-4146
    DOI: 10.1007/s11269-012-0135-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reimer, Jeffrey J., 2012. "On the economics of virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 135-139.
    2. Guan, Dabo & Hubacek, Klaus, 2007. "Assessment of regional trade and virtual water flows in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 159-170, February.
    3. Yu, Yang & Hubacek, Klaus & Feng, Kuishuang & Guan, Dabo, 2010. "Assessing regional and global water footprints for the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1140-1147, March.
    4. Erik Dietzenbacher & Esther Velazquez, 2007. "Analysing Andalusian Virtual Water Trade in an Input-Output Framework," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 185-196.
    5. Atkinson, Giles & Hamilton, Kirk & Ruta, Giovanni & Van Der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2010. "Trade in'virtual carbon': empirical results and implications for policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5194, The World Bank.
    6. Yong Wang & Hong-lang Xiao & Rui-fang Wang, 2009. "Water Scarcity and Water Use in Economic Systems in Zhangye City, Northwestern China," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 23(13), pages 2655-2668, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guangyao Deng & Liujuan Wang & Yanan Song, 2015. "Effect of Variation of Water-Use Efficiency on Structure of Virtual Water Trade - Analysis Based on Input–Output Model," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(8), pages 2947-2965, June.
    2. Andrea Fracasso & Martina Sartori & Stefano Schiavo, 2014. "Determinants of Virtual Water Flows in the Mediterranean," IEFE Working Papers 75, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    3. Tiziano Distefano & Massimo Riccaboni & Giovanni Marin, 2014. "Global Virtual Water Trade: integrating Structural Decomposition Analysis with Network Theory," Working Papers 8/2014, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Aug 2014.
    4. Roberto Roson & Martina Sartori, 2012. "Climate Change, Tourism and Water Resources in the Mediterranean:a General Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers 2012_05, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    5. Marta Antonelli & Martina Sartori, 2014. "Unfolding the Potential of the Virtual Water Concept. What is still under debate?," IEFE Working Papers 74, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    6. Roberto Roson & Martina Sartori, 2012. "Climate Change Impacts on Tourism in the Mediterranean," EcoMod2012 4624, EcoMod.
    7. Fracasso, Andrea, 2014. "A gravity model of virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 215-228.
    8. Roberto Roson & Martina Sartori, 2015. "A Decomposition and Comparison Analysis of International Water Footprint Time Series," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-17, April.
    9. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:130-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:waterr:v:33:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s11269-019-2199-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jordan Hristov & Aleksandra Martinovska-Stojcheska & Yves Surry, 2016. "The Economic Role of Water in FYR Macedonia: An Input–Output Analysis and Implications for the Western Balkan Countries," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(04), pages 1-37, December.
    12. repec:kap:netspa:v:19:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11067-018-9383-4 is not listed on IDEAS

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