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Impacts of policy and climate on China's water and food security

Speaker: Carole Dalin, Graduate Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E225
Date/Time: Friday, May 3, 2013, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Abstract:

China's agriculture uses about 65% of the national freshwater withdrawal. Intensive irrigation in the water-limited North plains have led to increased pressure on local water resources. Moreover, this trend is accentuated by population and economic growth, which both lead to higher consumer demand for water-intensive products like meat. The government has listed several policy aims to cope with agriculture's impacts on people and the environment: improve resource use efficiency, limit environmental degradation, and maintain an adequate level of self-reliance in food at the national level (i.e. food security).

In my current research, I am using virtual water trade analysis at the province level in China, to identify trade and agricultural policies that would mitigate pressure on water resources in some regions, while keeping food supply adequate in the whole country. To evaluate how this improvement could be achieved, I will first build the virtual water trade network associated with domestic food trade in China, both under current and future socio-economic and climate conditions. Second, I will assess the impacts on water and food security of specific policy scenarios, e.g. agricultural R&D investment, trade liberalization, increase in irrigation use, etc.

In this seminar, I will present the data and methods I am using, as well as the analysis I plan to carry on.