Water Scarcity and Virtual Water Trade in the Mediterranean

IEFE Working Paper No. 38

14 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2010  

Roberto Roson

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia; Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy

Martina Sartori

School of International Studies - University of Trento; Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy

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Date Written: September 27, 2010

Abstract

Virtual water trade refers to the implicit content of water in the production of goods and services. When trade is undertaken, there is an implicit exchange of water. Furthermore, when water gets scarce, water intensive goods become more expensive to produce and the economy compensates through higher water imports.

This paper is about applying the concept of virtual water to the problem of future water scarcity in the Mediterranean area, also induced by the climate change. The aim is assessing to what extent water trade is a viable adaptation option to the problem of water scarcity. To this end, a computable general equilibrium model is extended with satellite data on sectoral water consumption, and used to assess future scenarios of water availability.

It is found that virtual trade may curb the negative effect of water scarcity, yet the consequences in terms of income and welfare remain quite significant, especially for some regions.

Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium Models, Water, Virtual Water, Water Scarcity, Climate Change

JEL Classification: C68, D58, F18, Q17, Q24, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Roson, Roberto and Sartori, Martina, Water Scarcity and Virtual Water Trade in the Mediterranean (September 27, 2010). IEFE Working Paper No. 38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1683290

Roberto Roson (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy
+39 041 2349147 (Phone)
+39 041 2349176 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://venus.unive.it/roson

Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy ( email )

viale Filippetti, 9
Milan, 20122
Italy

Martina Sartori

School of International Studies - University of Trento ( email )

via Tommaso Gar, 4
Trento, Trento 38122
Italy

Bocconi University - IEFE Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy ( email )

viale Filippetti, 9
Milan, 20122
Italy

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