The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Abstract

It is becoming increasingly important to put freshwater issues in a global context. Local water depletion and pollution are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. With increasing trade between nations and continents, water is more frequently used to produce exported goods. International trade in commodities implies long-distance transfers of water in virtual form, where virtual water is understood as the volume of water that has been used to produce a commodity and that is thus virtually embedded in it. Knowledge about the virtual-water flows entering and leaving a country can cast a completely new light on the actual water scarcity of a country. For example, Jordan imports about 5 to 7 billion m3 of virtual water per year, which is in sharp contrast with the 1 billion m3 of water withdrawn annually from domestic water sources. This means that people in Jordan apparently survive owing to the import of water-intensive commodities from elsewhere, for example the USA. This report reviews current knowledge with respect to four questions: What is the effect of international trade on domestic water resources? What is the effect of water availability on international trade? Can international trade increase global water-use efficiency? And finally, what type of international trade rules would promote a more wise use of water worldwide?
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationGeneva, Switzerland
PublisherWorld Trade Organization
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameWTO working paper series
PublisherWorld Trade Organization
No.5

Keywords

  • METIS-264592
  • IR-77206

Cite this

Hoekstra, A. Y. (2010). The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05. (WTO working paper series; No. 5). Geneva, Switzerland: World Trade Organization.
Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert. / The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05. Geneva, Switzerland : World Trade Organization, 2010. 25 p. (WTO working paper series; 5).
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Hoekstra, AY 2010, The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05. WTO working paper series, no. 5, World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05. / Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert.

Geneva, Switzerland : World Trade Organization, 2010. 25 p. (WTO working paper series; No. 5).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

TY - BOOK

T1 - The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05

AU - Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - It is becoming increasingly important to put freshwater issues in a global context. Local water depletion and pollution are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. With increasing trade between nations and continents, water is more frequently used to produce exported goods. International trade in commodities implies long-distance transfers of water in virtual form, where virtual water is understood as the volume of water that has been used to produce a commodity and that is thus virtually embedded in it. Knowledge about the virtual-water flows entering and leaving a country can cast a completely new light on the actual water scarcity of a country. For example, Jordan imports about 5 to 7 billion m3 of virtual water per year, which is in sharp contrast with the 1 billion m3 of water withdrawn annually from domestic water sources. This means that people in Jordan apparently survive owing to the import of water-intensive commodities from elsewhere, for example the USA. This report reviews current knowledge with respect to four questions: What is the effect of international trade on domestic water resources? What is the effect of water availability on international trade? Can international trade increase global water-use efficiency? And finally, what type of international trade rules would promote a more wise use of water worldwide?

AB - It is becoming increasingly important to put freshwater issues in a global context. Local water depletion and pollution are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. With increasing trade between nations and continents, water is more frequently used to produce exported goods. International trade in commodities implies long-distance transfers of water in virtual form, where virtual water is understood as the volume of water that has been used to produce a commodity and that is thus virtually embedded in it. Knowledge about the virtual-water flows entering and leaving a country can cast a completely new light on the actual water scarcity of a country. For example, Jordan imports about 5 to 7 billion m3 of virtual water per year, which is in sharp contrast with the 1 billion m3 of water withdrawn annually from domestic water sources. This means that people in Jordan apparently survive owing to the import of water-intensive commodities from elsewhere, for example the USA. This report reviews current knowledge with respect to four questions: What is the effect of international trade on domestic water resources? What is the effect of water availability on international trade? Can international trade increase global water-use efficiency? And finally, what type of international trade rules would promote a more wise use of water worldwide?

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KW - IR-77206

M3 - Report

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ER -

Hoekstra AY. The relation between international trade and freshwater scarcity, working paper ERSD-2010-05. Geneva, Switzerland: World Trade Organization, 2010. 25 p. (WTO working paper series; 5).