Waterschaarste in Europa : het effect van verwachte waterschaarste op internationale virtuele waterstromen en nationale water footprints

Hafkemeijer, B. (2012) Waterschaarste in Europa : het effect van verwachte waterschaarste op internationale virtuele waterstromen en nationale water footprints.

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Abstract:Water scarcity may pose a threat to future water use. Water is essential for life. Humans use it to drink, cook and bath, yet primarily to grow crops and create industrial products. Due to future developments in demography, economy, technology and climate, the water use, availability and scarcity of a nation changes. This research focuses on future water use in Europe and the effect of expected water scarcity. Based on the water footprint methodology, the national water use in Europe is calculated for three scenarios for the year 2050. (i) A business as usual scenario without water scarcity. The assumption is that population, consumption, income, production, technology and climate develop according to current expectations. (ii) A scenario with water scarcity limited production. The assumption is that product growth is limited for nations that experience water scarcity. (iii) A scenario with water limited trade. The assumption is that nations don’t trade with countries outside Europe. Data of Mekonnen and Hoekstra (2011) are used to calculate a present situation for the year 2000. In a business as usual scenario, the water footprint of Europe in 2050 increases relative to the year 2000 with 18% to 1,200 109 m3 yr-1 (per capita 23% to 1,600 m3 yr-1). The biggest changes occur at Turkey, Spain, Russia and Italy. In a scenario with water scarcity limited production that would be 6% to circa 1,100 109 m3 yr-1 (11% to 1,500 m3 cap-1 yr-1), with the biggest changes for Russia, Italy, Germany and France. In a scenario with water scarcity limited trade this turns 1% to approximately 1,000 109 m3 yr-1 (5% to 1,400 m3 cap-1 yr-1), with the biggest changes at Turkey, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany. As a conclusion, the effect of expected water scarcity on national water footprints in Europe in 2050 ranges from an increase of 18% relative to the year 2000 under business as usual conditions, 6% when production is limited by water scarcity, to 1% when trade is limited to Europe. Those figures should be interpreted with care, because (i) the underlying calculations are based on average values, (ii) trade surplus is allocated based on mathematical shortages rather than economic incentives, and (iii) overproduction occurs at scenario 3. Notwithstanding practical implementations, a future situation with trade limited to Europe should be recommended from a water use perspective.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:38 earth sciences
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61505
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