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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Larson, Donald F., 2013. "Blue water and the consequences of alternative food security policies in the Middle East and North Africa for water security," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6464, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6464
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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 1-21, October.
    3. Headey, Derek, 2011. "Rethinking the global food crisis: The role of trade shocks," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 136-146, April.
    4. Considine, Timothy J. & Larson, Donald F., 2006. "The environment as a factor of production," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 645-662, November.
    5. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will & Zaman, Hassan, 2012. "Estimating the Short-Run Poverty Impacts of the 2010–11 Surge in Food Prices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2302-2317.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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. 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.
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    More about this item

    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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