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Title: Water resources, food security and virtual water 'trade' in the Middle East and North African region
Author: Antonelli, Marta
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 0677
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The main purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between water, food security and trade in the MENA region. Water and food security are inextricably linked because of the poor water endowments of the region and the high volumes of water needed to produce food commodities, which account for 90% of the water needed by societies. The concepts of virtual water and water footprints are deployed critically in the study. Estimates of water requirements to produce a targeted diet are related to total water resources locally available for food production. The purpose is to assess the capacity of MENA economies to meet their food needs. This element of the study is original in that it accounts not only for blue (surface and ground) but also green (soil) water resources. The MENA is not rich in green water resources but they do provide a substantial proportion of the water used in food production. The study also investigates the extent to which the region's economies have relied on virtual water 'imports' to meet their food needs over the past two and a half decades. It shows that the region’s economies have all become net virtual water 'importers’ and are dependent on global natural resources. Food, especially crops, account for the largest share (95%) of virtual water ‘imports’. The study shows that virtual water ‘imports’ mainly originate from outside the region, whereas 'exports' are regionalised. The study shows that the largest share of ‘imports’ is green and originates from Brazil, the USA and Russia. Finally, the study argues that water security is less dependent on water endowments than it is on the socioeconomic strength and diversification of the MENA economies. These capacities determine the level and effectiveness of water use of water and, most importantly, the capacity to ‘import’ virtual water.
Supervisor: Allan, John Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available