Showing posts with label Circular Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Circular Economy. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Virtual Water

Virtual Water
Virtual Water Trade – Embedded/Embodied Water 

Virtual water is defined as the total volume water which is needed in order to produce and process. Virtual water trade also known as trade in embodied or embedded water is related to hidden flow of water in case other commodities or food tend to get traded in different places.

On an average it takes around1,600 cubic meters of water to produce ` metric tonne of wheat and the accurate volume could depend on more or less on the climate as well as agricultural conditions. According to Hoekstra and Chapagain they have defined virtual content of product – a commodity, service or good, as `volume of freshwater which is utilised to create a product, measured at the place it was actually produced’ and relates to the sum on the utilisation of the water in the various stages of the production chain.

According to John Anthony Allan, Professor from King’s College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies had introduced the concept of virtual water in order to support his views that countries in the Middle East could save their scarce supply of water by relying on import of food.

He received an award of the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize, for his contribution. He states that `the water is considered to be virtual due to the fact that once the wheat is grown, the real water used to grow it is no longer actually contained in the wheat and the concept of virtual water helps in realizing how much water could be needed to produce different goods and services’.

Some Deficiencies in Concept of Virtual Water

He further states that in `arid and semi-arid locations, the value of the virtual water of good or service could be useful in determining the best use of the available scarce water.’ However there are some deficiencies in the concept of virtual water which means that there is a significant danger on depending on these measures in order to guide policy conclusions.

As per Australia’s National Water Commission it is considered that the measurement of virtual water has less practical value in the making of decision with regards to the best allocation of scarce water resources.

Recently the concept of virtual water trade has been gaining weightage in the scientific and the political arguments with the notion of its concept being ambiguous and changes have been moving between a descriptive, analytical concept and a political induced strategy.

From the point of view of an analytical concept, virtual water trade relates to an instrument which enables the identification as well as the assessment of policy choice not only in the scientific but also in the political discourse.

Concept Analytically helps Global/Local/Regional Level

From the point of politically induced strategy, the query is whether virtual water trade could be used in a sustainable way, or whether implementation could be managed in an economic, social or in an ecological manner and which countries would have a meaningful option of the concept offered.

In the framework of latest developments from supply oriented to demand oriented management of water resources, new field of governance has opened up which facilitates a differentiation as well as balancing of different perspective, interest and basic condition.

The concept analytically helps in distinguishing between global, local and regional level, together with their linkages. Which means that water resource problem needs to be solved.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Circular Economy

The Institute of circular economy was officially launched in Paris on February 6. The main objective of the principle of circular economy is interesting because it is based on the idea that "The waste of one person is another resources of others. This model, which involves a long-term vision, as well as the economy of resource management and environment, seems like a good track to emerge from the economic, social and environmental crisis in which we are stuck now. The Institute of circular economy is an alternative vision of the economy. The Institute is composed of national and local policy-makers, entrepreneurs, academics from different backgrounds and association leaders. The aim of this structure is to promote an alternative vision of the economy. It is chaired by François-Michel Lambert.

He starts from the premise that the linear economic system that is "extract, produce, consume and throw is out of breath. It is now widely recognized that economic model based on a strong dependence on raw materials are becoming scarce and more difficult to extract in one hand, and the development of consumer non-durables - which obsolescence is sometimes planned - on the other hand, impacts our environment in the broadest sense. This model impact the environment and the people who migrate are sometimes under heavy pollution. The circular economy is pragmatic, because the concepts of recycling and regeneration and alter-growth are the foundation of circular economy.

At the ideological level, extensive consumption, reduced product life cycles and the relocation of production are central to the debate. Usage and consumption are also redesigned, including the concept of ownership. The idea is not to share or collectives of the properties but to think in terms of "a well-differentiated uses." Example is taken from the washing machine: the advantage of being owned by such a machine is zero, but its usefulness is high. The circular economy is unifying as it aims to "unite and involve all stakeholders and experts in a collaborative approach by pooling resources to conduct collective thinking."