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The Ins And Outs Of Water Use -- A Review Of Multi-Region Input--Output Analysis And Water Footprints For Regional Sustainability Analysis And Policy


  • Peter L. Daniels
  • Manfred Lenzen
  • Steven J. Kenway


This paper reviews current knowledge about water footprints (WFs) and the role of input--output techniques. We first provide an overview of the prevailing ‘bottom-up’, process-based methods and their strengths and limitations. This overview leads to discussion of the benefits of combining process-based water footprints with information from input--output techniques. The central theme and proposition is that environmental multi-region input--output analysis (E-MRIO) has a powerful capacity to establish the geography of embodied water, and to complement process-based approaches to WF by expanding their supply-chain coverage. Combining process and input--output information provides valuable information for a diverse set of water planning and water policy objectives. A comprehensive and systematic outline of potential policy applications of E-MRIO (and process analysis methods) is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter L. Daniels & Manfred Lenzen & Steven J. Kenway, 2011. "The Ins And Outs Of Water Use -- A Review Of Multi-Region Input--Output Analysis And Water Footprints For Regional Sustainability Analysis And Policy," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 353-370, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:23:y:2011:i:4:p:353-370
    DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2011.633500

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    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p1:p:978-993 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Makiko Tsukui & Shigemi Kagawa & Yasushi Kondo, 2015. "Measuring the waste footprint of cities in Japan: an interregional waste input–output analysis," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    5. Anke Schaffartzik & Dominik Wiedenhofer & Nina Eisenmenger, 2015. "Raw Material Equivalents: The Challenges of Accounting for Sustainability in a Globalized World," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-26, April.
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    7. Lutter, Stephan & Giljum, Stefan & Bruckner, Martin, 2016. "A review and comparative assessment of existing approaches to calculate material footprints," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 1-10.
    8. Stephan, André & Stephan, Laurent, 2014. "Reducing the total life cycle energy demand of recent residential buildings in Lebanon," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 618-637.
    9. Bruckner, Martin & Fischer, Günther & Tramberend, Sylvia & Giljum, Stefan, 2015. "Measuring telecouplings in the global land system: A review and comparative evaluation of land footprint accounting methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 11-21.

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