Water Trade in Andalusia. Virtual Water: An Alternative Way to Manage Water Use

by Esther Zquez

Jun 1, 2007
The main idea of this paper is to analyse the relationships between the productive process and the commercial trade with water resources used by them. For that, the first goal is to find out, by means of the estimation of virtual water, the exported crops which have the highest water consumption. Similarly, we analyse the crops that are imported and therefore, might contribute to save water. The second objective is to put forward new ways to save water by means of the virtual water trade. This first conclusion contradicts not only the comparative advantages theory but also the environmental sustainability logic. The previous conclusion is derived from the great exports of water via potatoes and vegetables, and also via citrus fruit and orchards; and, on the other hand, from the imports, such as cereals and arable crops, with lower water requirements. The second conclusion affirms as Andalusia utilises large amounts of water in its exports, and in turn, it does not produce goods with low water requirements, the potential saving would be very significant if the terms of our trade were the other way round. We are convinced that the agricultural sector must modify the use of water to a great extent in order to reach significant water savings and an environmental sustainability path.
Water Trade in Andalusia. Virtual Water: An Alternative Way to Manage Water Use


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