A hydro-economic MRIO analysis of the Haihe River Basin's water footprint and water stress

White DJ, Feng K, Sun L, & Hubacek K (2015). A hydro-economic MRIO analysis of the Haihe River Basin's water footprint and water stress. Ecological Modelling 318: 157-167. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.01.017.

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Abstract

Water, in particular water scarcity, is the fulcrum of China's dilemma in pursuing industrialization, income growth, modernization, and national food security. The Haihe River Basin (HRB) is an extremely water stressed hydrological system, which encompasses the two megacities of Beijing and Tianjin, and is experiencing the detrimental impacts of the recent unprecedented economic growth on its scarce water resources. We applied an integrated multi-regional input-output (MRIO) hydro-economic model combined with the water scarcity index to analyze consumption water footprint (WF) and embedded or virtual water flows in inter-regional trade in the HRB and their impacts on hydrosystems (scarcity water footprint). The study shows that in 2007, the WF of the HRB was approximately 37.1 billion m^3 (277 m^3 per capita), of which the 'scarcity' WF was approximately 26.7 billion m^3 or 72% of the total WF. In line with its high level of water scarcity, the HRB's net import level of virtual water was 11.3 billion m^3 (84 m^3 per capita), with the total import of 25.9 billion m^3 and total export of 14.6 billion m^3. In contrast, the HRB's net import level of virtual scarce water is at a relatively moderate scale of .8 billion m^3, with the import of 15.7 billion m^3 and export of 13.9 billion m^3. While it is highly desirable to import more virtual water from water rich regions, a caution is needed in importing virtual scarce water because the latter will lead to greater water stress in other water scarce regions. Accounting for water scarcity in the WF analysis increases the effectiveness of the analysis and generates more valuable and accurate informaion for water management and planning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: multi-regional input-output modeling; water scarcity index; virtual water: water footprint
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Bibliographic Reference: Ecological Modelling; 318:157-167 [December 2015] (Published online 13 February 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 10:02
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11334

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