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Share of Different Sectors in International Trade of Virtual Water  

Share of Different Sectors in International Trade of Virtual Water  

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India has been the fifth largest exporter of virtual water in the world. Based on the water footprint of the country, the magnitude of use of inland water resources for the export of crop products from India has been quite significant. The trends in the volume of virtual water being exported to the world through 283 crop products at 6–digits Harmon...

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... The reason why the onion WF green is more than the WF blue is related to the crop's abundant use of precipitation as a result of the early planting date (15 May) and short vegetation period (75 days). The crop with the highest water footprint in the province is chickpeas, which have been found to have a high virtual water content in many studies (Chapagain and Hoekstra, 2004;Gupta, 2008;Mohammadi-Kanigolzar et al., 2014), while the lowest is cabbage. The WF green and WF blue of chickpeas, which have the highest amount of green water, are almost equal to each other. ...
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Today, most of the world's population faces water scarcity, while global warming, urbanization, industrialization and population increases continue to increase the severity of the pressure on water resources. Management of water resources plays a key role in the sustainability of agricultural production. The water footprint (WF) is different in comparison to other water statistics because it takes direct and indirect water consumption into account, and helps in the management of water resources. Within this context, the WF of Van province, which is Turkey's most easterly located arid region, was calculated from 2004 to 2019. The study area covers lake Van, which is Turkey's largest lake, and the Van basin with an area of 23.334 km2 and a population of 1.136.757 (2019). In the calculations, crop (WFcrop), livestock (WFlivestock), and domestic and industrial water footprints (WFdomestic+industrial) were evaluated separately, and blue and green water footprints (WFblue and WFgreen) were analyzed in detail. According to the results, the average WF of Van province was found to be 8.73 billion m3 year-1. Throughout the province, 87.6% of the WF is composed of WFcrop, 4.9% is WFlivestock and 7.5% is WFdomestic+industrial. Of the WFcrop, 62.5% depends on WFblue, i.e., freshwater. Most of the WFlivestock consisted of dairy cattle (49%) and sheep (38%). The average WFdomestic+industrial for 2004 to 2019 was 0.64 billion m3 year-1. The average per capita water footprint of Van province was found to be 889.9 m3 year-1 capita-1. In addition, the province is classified as severe water scarcity (257%). This study is one of the first province-based calculations of WF in Turkey and is the first study to bring a different aspect to published literature by including residual soil moisture from the winter months. As a result of this study, the WFblue of the WFcrop is above the worldwide average and should be reduced by changing the crop pattern or synchronizing the planting and harvest dates of the crops to a period that benefits from precipitation. In addition, this study is expected to contribute to new studies for calculating the provincial scale WF and will have positive effects on agricultural planning, water allocation and the sustainability of water resources.
... The added value of WF assessments on the national water policy for Morocco was investigated by Schyns and Hoekstra (2014). The WFs of India (Gupta, 2008), Indonesia (Bulsink et al., 2010) and Qatar (Mohammed and Darwish, 2017) have also been analysed. ...
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... From agricultural water consumption perspective, direct per unit water requirements have been assessed using the Water Footprint Network methodology [1,121]. Additionally, India's annual nonrenewable groundwater withdrawal of 68 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) is the largest in the world [122]. ...
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Ecosystems provide multiple benefits in the form of provisioning, supporting, regulating and cultural services. However, the unprecedented growth in human population has created immense pressures on ecosystems, such that, the sustainability of the environment itself is at stake. Thus, there is a growing need to assess environmental impacts of human production and consumption. Sustainability assessments require comprehensive assessment of impacts of a product or a process throughout its life-cycle to avoid and to assess shifting of impacts from one part of the life-cycle to another. Such assessments include material contributions (raw material extraction, intermediate use till the final disposal), social impacts (gender inequality, child labor) and contribution of ecosystem services (water, pollination etc.) among others. Additionally, it has been advocated that the information, which forms the base of such assessments, should be made available in a comprehensible and consistent format, to various stakeholders for making decisions in different contexts. Life-cycle impact oriented assessments can be conducted at a regional level (national, state, global), at product/value chain level (industry/sectors), or at an individual level (organizations, life style consumption), among others. Additionally, since such assessments allow identification of key production and consumption hot-spots, thus, they can assist in prioritized actions (technological, social, behavioral or green solutions) that can reduce the total impact (environmental) of the system (product/process/service). Performed at a regional scale, this research assesses water-sustainability (from an environmental perspective) of the Indian economy (system), acknowledging water as an ecosystem good (or service) or natural capital. Water is an integral part of natural and human systems. It occupies nearly 70\% of earth's surface and is closely networked with other planetary boundaries. Water's all-pervasive planetary boundary increases the scope and dimensions of its flows and uses, and thus, it is nearly interconnected with all biotic and abiotic components of this planet. It is available in both, renewable and non-renewable forms. Further, though most of it is recycled back to the natural reservoirs, the characteristics of water are changed after human-use. As water is continuously recycled in nature, quantifying its role in human-natural systems is a challenging task, owing to variation in its availability and complexity in its use and consumption. Further, human-use does not make a distinction between the type of water (renewable or non-renewable) embodied in consumption, though it is virtually embedded in all economic processes and products via energy and material networks. In the context of India, agriculture withdraws nearly 90\% of available water (compared to the world average of 70\%). Such a large withdrawal further reduces the availability of water for meeting domestic \& industrial demands. In addition, such a large withdrawal reduces water-availability to maintain the necessary environmental flows. This reduction in maintaining necessary environmental flows may affect other species dependent on water. Which, in turn, may further effect the provision of ecosystem services provided by them to human systems (such as, pollination, waste decomposition, etc.). Thus, the issue of appropriation of water as an ecological resource is important to all the stakeholders, including ecosystems. From an anthropogenic perspective, water institutions/agencies in India, acknowledge the role of water-use in agriculture, along with forecast being generated for urban, domestic or industrial water use; however, from an ecosystems' perspective, life-cycle oriented water-assessments (at country level, at product/process scale, and from consumption perspective) are at a nascent stage in India. Consistent and dis-aggregated statistics about withdrawal, use, consumption and waste water are unavailable at local, regional and national scale. Furthermore, although individually many large corporations have started reporting environmental resource-uses; however, complete inventories of industries such as mining or leather processing are pretty much non-existent. Thus, environmental assessments using systems-approach for production or consumption systems, addressing water related impacts, are very few in India. Hence, this study presents a comprehensive water assessment of India's production and consumption from the perspective of environmental sustainability. Life cycle assessments (LCA) can capture both resource contributions and environmental impacts of process/products. Further, though LCAs can offer detailed process-based analysis; LCA-based analyses suffer from the problem of boundary truncation. Thus, LCAs fail to capture the complete impacts. Furthermore, LCAs can lead to shift in the boundary of impacts, by failing to capture comprehensive impacts. On the other hand, environmentally extended input-output (EEIO) models can capture complete impacts by extending the spatial boundaries of the impacts, from the regional to the national scale (and even to the global). Hence, EEIO models are capable of offering complete environmental footprints of products and services, for human activities considered in the economic system/s. However, the limitation is, data becomes aggregated in the EEIO models in comparison with process-based LCAs. Furthermore, data is represented in monetary units in economic IO tables. Therefore, to overcome the limitations of both methodologies, process based LCAs is integrated with EEIOs, in the form of hybrid IO-LCA assessments, for comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts for products/processes. Thus, such a hybrid analysis, overcomes the limitations of both LCA (by expanding the boundary of the analysis) and aggregation errors associated with EEIO models. To achieve the objective of a comprehensive water assessment of India's economy, this study extends the economic input-output model of India to incorporate water flows. The study thus develops a water-withdrawal model of the Indian economy, as an application of environmentally extended input-output (EEIO) models. EEIO models are used extensively in the field of environmental footprinting to uniquely capture ecosystems contribution in terms of both services and goods. EEIO models present the most comprehensive data-models that can link resource use with production or consumption by incorporating environmental contributions and their flows in the economic networks, and thus, can capture both direct and indirect contributions. Such models have been developed for emergy (solar energy), exergy (available energy), ecological and land footprints, nitrogen and phosphorous (representing bio-geochemical cycles), biodiversity, water and so on. In this study, indirect contributions are estimated by integrating direct-water inventory with the IO table. Wherein, the direct contributions (direct-water inventory) are estimated prior to the integration. Details of the direct-water inventory are given in the next paragraph. Further, IO table for the year 2003-2004 is used for this water-assessment of India. The primary reason for choosing the 2003-2004 IO table, is to offer a fair comparison/s with the numbers reported by other studies performed using different methodologies (water-footprinting, global EEIO water-models, GIS-based assessments, The World Bank, FAO's Water-AQUASTAT etc.) around the same time period. Further, the IO table of 2003-04 categorizes economic transactions in terms of 130 sectors (or industries). A unique inventory (in the form of vector) representing water withdrawal (abstraction) is developed at the sectoral level. This inventory differentiates between the sources of water (blue (surface and ground water) or green (water-moisture in the soil used by vegetation, made available by rainfall)). Such a difference in sources of water, allows determination of sector's dependence on both renewable and non-renewable sources. Additionally, sectoral water-characterization factors are estimated, from the perspective of product water footprinting. Thus, this developed inventory represents direct water requirements of production (aggregated at sector level or specific product) in the economic system. Or, in other words, it (inventory) can be called as a matrix of characterization factors expressed in terms of blue and green water. The developed inventory (green and blue water vectors) is treated as a value-added in physical terms ($V_{ph}$), in the economic IO system, for obtaining the water EEIO model. Further, matrix algebra related to supply side, that is, Ghosh's version of IO algebra is used in this analysis. From the perspective of water-scarcity assessments, the rising scarcity may effect water-availability (a value-added from the nature). Thus, the supply side evaluation might be more useful. Thus, the developed water model allows capturing of indirect water requirements associated with a sector (industry or product), and hence, captures the total water contribution (direct from ($V_{ph}$) inventory and indirect from IO analysis) for each sector. Or, the total system-wide contribution (impact in terms of resource abstraction from ecosystems) of specific sector's production. Therefore, the developed water EEIO model can be considered as an integrated economic-ecological system in this work, providing total water withdrawal assessment for each sector of the Indian economy. In addition to the developed model, this study provides a unique data inventory of water withdrawn, resource intensity, throughput in physical units and monetary prices (from the IO table) for each sector of India's IO table. Along with water withdrawal assessments, the data also incorporates the uncertainty of each sector by providing a range of direct water withdrawal. Thus, while the broad assessments at the sectoral level are provided, the uncertainty range offers a greater understanding for the differences in resource use that could exist within the sectors. Such differences in resource requirement arise due to the aggregated representation of different processes \& technologies in use or aggregation of commodities that have spatially different characteristics within the sector. For example, the range explicitly captures the spatial variation with respect to regional water-requirements for agricultural sectors (i.e. water required to grow a water-intensive crop like paddy in semi-arid or rainwater abundant regions), as the final products are represented in an aggregated manner in the national water-IO model. Thus, this range provides the variation for both direct and total water assessments estimated in this model. Further, in this work, since the exogenous vector, that is water, is physical value-added, it represents the environmental footprint of India in terms of water-withdrawal. With the rising water scarcity across India, it becomes crucial for the stake-holders to know about the source of supplied water used directly and indirectly in their operations. The model provides an understanding of whether the direct (\& indirect) water used in the operations is withdrawn from green or blue water sources. Wherein, green and blue water respectively reveals the dependence on renewable and non-renewable supplies such as rainwater and surface \& groundwater. This distinction between green and blue components is important for water footprinting assessments. Additionally, bifurcation between direct and indirect components assists in evaluating quantities that are used directly and others that forms part of the upstream supply chain/s. Similarly, supply-chain assessments with a downstream perspective can provide details for the consuming sectors. Thus, the model could be used for determining vulnerability of the sectors and the economy. Thus, these separate assessments could assist in quantitative evaluation of risks embodied in the supply-chains. Further, monetary IO tables capture information about exports in and imports from an economy. Thus, trade related water assessments can reveal information about embodied water crossing national boundaries. Therefore, these numbers can be applied for trade related assessments to capture rising vulnerabilities related to exports (water embodied in imports is a function of water-intensity of the importing country). Last, to broaden the perspective of this assessment, EEIO models can be envisaged as an integration of ecological resources and economic (part of social systems) networks. Thus, such models can also be called as models of coupled human-natural or human-environment or socio-ecological systems. Such systems can be explored via both static and dynamic system-analysis techniques, from local to global scale or process to planetary boundary scale. Hence, this work is titled as analyses of ``India's water metabolism". Wherein, the economy is considered as a system and water is the key value-added contributing towards numerous economic processes, and thereby, making economy perform its various functions.
... This study concluded India as a net importer contradictory to other studies (Table 1). Gupta (2008) calculated VWT between 2001and 2006. These studies reported the VWT quantities and not the flow between countries. ...
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Indirect trade of water (virtual water) through export of crop and livestock products may pose a risk to water resources in the exporting country. Management strategies can be framed by identifying the partner countries and the current status of water resources in these countries. This study for the first time analyses the virtual water trade of India considering the specific virtual water contents of crop and livestock products from all partner countries from 1986 to 2013 (28 years). Average virtual water export of India is 59 Bm³/y and virtual water import is 32.6 Bm³/y. Net virtual water import (-26.4 Bm³/y) indicates India is a major exporter. Oil, cereals, industrial products (cotton, jute, hides etc.) and semi-luxury goods contribute to 79% of virtual water export. Oil and nuts contribute to 71% of virtual water import. Decline in virtual water trade due to slow economic growth and impact of floods are reflected in the inter-annual variation. Highest virtual water trade from India is to countries in Asia (74% as virtual water export and 59% as virtual water import). Virtual water import to India are mainly through palm oil, cashew nuts, soybean, sunflower oil, wheat, rubber, cotton and pulses. Water footprint of India has increased by 1.3 times in 28 years. Strategies for sustainable management of water resources in India and the partner countries should aim at reducing the import of water-intensive goods from water-scarce countries and increasing import of water-intensive goods from water-abundant countries.
... Agriculture is the largest direct withdrawer of water in India at 90%, followed by domestic withdrawal of 7%, and 2% withdrawal by industry. 14−16 Other studies have emphasized sustainable use of groundwater focusing on agriculture and food security in a dynamic environment of climate change, 17 virtual water trade 18 and water footprint of agricultural food crops. 19 To meet requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), many businesses are reporting their water use through corporate sustainability reports (CSR). ...
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The water footprint (WF) of national consumption is an indicator that takes into account both the direct (domestic water use) and indirect (water required to produce the products consumed) water use of consumers within a country. This study quantifies the water footprint of national consumption in Poland on national and regional levels. It tracks the consumptive use of rainwater (green WF) and ground and surface water (blue WF), and water pollution (gray WF). The total WF of national consumption in Poland in the 2006-2011 period was 53.6 Gm3/yr (72% green, 10% blue, 18% gray). The average consumer in Poland had a WF of 1,400.5 m3/yr. Agricultural goods provided the largest contribution to the WF of the average consumer (1,241.4 m3/cap/yr), followed by industrial goods (145.6 m3/cap/yr), and finally domestic water use (13.5 m3/cap/yr). The assessment of the WF has formed a new interesting field for integrated geographical studies. It provides useful data for informing consumers about the environmental impacts of their lifestyle and consumption choices. In water policy, it can also create a basis for discussing water allocation and issues related to sustainable, equitable, and efficient water use.
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A review of literature during calendar year 2013 focused on environmental policies and sustainable development, and economic policies. This review is divided into these sections: sustainable development, irrigation, ecosystems and watershed management, climate change and disaster risk management, environmental policies management, economic growth, water supply policies, water consumption, water price regulation, and valuation.