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Water for food: China's inter-provincial and foreign virtual water trade

Speaker: Carole Dalin, Graduate Student
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E225
Date/Time: Friday, October 18, 2013, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Abstract:

China's water resources are under increasing pressure from socioeconomic development, diet shifts and climate change. Besides, water and arable land availability are significantly heterogeous across the country. We use a general equilibrium welfare model and a linear programming optimization to model inter-provincial food trade in China. We combine these trade simulations with province-level estimates of commodities' virtual water content to build China's domestic virtual water trade network.

We observe large variations in water-use efficiency among Chinese provinces, with a few provinces using high amounts of irrigation water versus rainwater for crop production. We analyze the virtual water flows patterns and the water savings associated with them.