Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-4
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-4

  17 Jan 2018

17 Jan 2018

Review status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Analysis of Trade-offs between Food Security and Water-Land Savings through Food Trade and Structural Changes of Virtual Water Trade in the Arab World

Sang-Hyun Lee1, Rabi H. Mohtar1, and Seung-Hwan Yoo2 Sang-Hyun Lee et al.
  • 1Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College station, TX77840, USA
  • 2Department of Rural and Bio-systems Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Abstract. The aim of this study is to analyze the impacts of food trade on food security and water-land savings in the Arab World in terms of virtual water trade (VWT). We estimated the total volume of virtual water imported for four major crops – barley, maize, rice, and wheat – from 2000 to 2012, and assessed their impacts on water and land savings, and food security. The largest volume of virtual water was imported by Egypt (19.9 billion m3/year), followed by Saudi Arabia (13.0 billion m3/year). Accordingly, Egypt would save 13.1 billion m3 in irrigation water and 2.1 million ha of crop area through importing crops. In addition, connectivity and influence of each country in the VWT network was analyzed using degree and eigenvector centralities. The study revealed that the Arab World focused more on increasing the volume of virtual water imported during the period 2006–2012 with little attention to the expansion of connections with country exporters, which is a vulnerable expansion. This study shed light on opportunities and risks associated with VWT and its role in food security and land management in the Arab World.

Sang-Hyun Lee et al.

 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Sang-Hyun Lee et al.

Sang-Hyun Lee et al.

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Short summary
Increasing food imports is related to decreasing domestic food production but it can bring enormous benefits of water and land savings in the Arab World. This study analyzed the trade-offs between food security on water-land savings in the Arab World through food trade and virtual water, which indicates the water used for producing crops. In addition, we revealed that the Arab World has recently increased the volume of virtual water imported with little attention to the expansion of connections.