February 25, 2005

2005: Highlight # 3

'Virtual' water is the water embedded in the production processes of goods and services. Kumar and Singh question its policy relevance and suggest a re-think...

Virtual Water in Global Food and Water Policy Making

Is there a Need for Rethinking?

M. Dinesh Kumar and O. P. Singh 

Analysis of country level data on renewable freshwater availability and net virtual water trade shows that a country's virtual water trade is not determined by its water situation, but by access to arable land. Virtual water trade increases with increase in gross cropped area. Many of the humid, water-rich countries will not be in a position to produce surplus food and feed water scarce nations. In fact virtual water often flows out of water-poor, land-rich countries to land-poor, water-rich countries. This means that the goals of “distribution of scarcity” and “global water use efficiency” are difficult to achieve through virtual water trade.

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