Saturday, February 28, 2015

Complication and Implication of Virtual Water- II

Fresh Water – Concern on Global Food Security

For several parts of the world, fresh water has become a scarcity and over exploited natural resource has now given rise to concern on global food security as well as damage to fresh water ecosystems. Situation seems to increase with the FAO making its estimate that the food production should be double by 2050 and hence food chains should be more efficient with regards to the usage of consumptive water. For geographically and small well defined Australian mango industry, with an average annual production of 44,692 ton of marketable fresh fruit, was 2298.1 kg−1 of average virtual water content, which is a sum of green, blue as well as grey water, at the orchard gate.

Due to wastage however, in the distribution as well as the consumption level of product life cycle, the virtual water average content of 1 kg of Australian grown fresh mango used by Australian household was 52181. This figure compared to an Australian equivalent water footprint of 2171 k−1is the volume of the usage of water in Australia with equivalent capabilities in contributing to water scarcity. Nationally, the distribution and consumption waste in food chain of Australian grown fresh mango to the consumers, indicate an annual waste of 26.7 Gl of green water with 16.6. Gl of blue water

Intervention in Reducing Food Chain Waste – Great Impact on Fresh Water 

These discoveries indicate that the intervention in reducing food chain waste would probably have a great or even a greater impact on freshwater resource available like other water use efficiency measures in food production and agriculture. Analyses of evolution and the structure of trade in virtual water had shown that a number of trade connections together with volume of virtual water trade had doubled for the past few decades. Developed countries have been drawing on the rest of the world to ease the pressure on domestic water resources.

Three studies have been done though it fills three important gaps in the research on global virtual water trade, the first being that in previous studies, virtual water volumes were put together from countries which were envisaging various degrees of water scarcity which was incorporated into assessments of virtual water flows. Secondly some previous studies assessing virtual water networks in terms of immediate water was used for food production though refrained from indirect virtual water used in the supply chains underlying all traded goods.

Global Virtual Water Network Structure

In the analysis, the use of input-output analysis included indirect virtual water, noting the existing conflicting views on whether trade in virtual water could lead to overall savings in global water resources. A re-visit to the Hechscher-Ohlin Theorem was done in the context of direct and indirect virtual water, to determine if international trade could be seen as feasible demand management tool in reducing the water scarcity. It was found that the global virtual water network structure changes significantly on adjusting for the purpose of scarcity.

Besides, the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem can be validated when indirect virtual water is appraised. Water once seen as an infinite resource is in fact, a finite resource. Moreover, fresh water is an important resource to plants, animals, human and all living things on the planet Earth. Geographic zone of abundance and scarcity is due to unequal global distribution of fresh water and global climatic changes tend to redistribute precipitation away from geographic locations which has sufficient or excess supply to cope up with the population.


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