The Role of Virtual Water Flows in Physical Water Scarcity: The Case of Central Asia

Miina Porkka, Matti Kummu, Stefan Siebert, Martina Flörke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Water scarcity in Central Asia was analyzed by using two water scarcity indices at the scale of sub-basin areas (SBAs): water stress index (consumption-to-availability ratio) and water shortage index (water availability per capita). These indices were calculated for a baseline scenario that included virtual water flows, and again for a scenario where international trade was eliminated, thus assessing the role of virtual water flows in water scarcity. Over 80% of the study area population suffers from water stress and approximately 50% from water shortage as well. Removing virtual water flows considerably decreased water scarcity for approximately half the population. Reducing the exports of water-intensive products could thus be an option, along with other more traditional measures, for alleviating water scarcity in Central Asia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-474
    JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
    Volume28
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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