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Title:Drivers of water use in the agricultural sector of the European Union 27
Author(s):Gerveni, Maria
Advisor(s):Dall'erba, Sandy
Contributor(s):Onal, Hayri; Baylis, Kathy
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):water use
structural decomposition analysis
input output analysis
european union
agricultural sector.
Abstract:Population growth and the uncertain hazards that accompany climate change have put increasing pressure on the management and sustainability of water, a vital but scarce environmental resource. A decrease in the water quality and quantity would have a direct impact on agriculture, the economic sector that uses the most of it, and its domestic and international supply chain linkages. As one of the largest agricultural producer in the world (14% of world agricultural production), the European Union and its twenty-seven members (EU27) are particularly sensitive to changes in water availability. To better understand the evolution of the latter, we perform a structural decomposition analysis over the 1995-2010 period. Based on the recently-released EXIOBASE 3 database, we examine in depth how changes in water input coefficients, in final demand and in technology have affected changes in water use in agriculture and more especially in crop production. Indeed, while agriculture represents 70% of all the water use, crop production consumes as much as 99% of the former while only 1% is attributed to livestock. Our results show that the more developed EU members who are also the largest crop producers have experienced an increase in water use that is mostly driven by changes in technology, i.e. the water content of the inputs used in the production process has increased over time. One exception is Germany where it is an increase in water intensity, the amount of water used per unit of output, that has driven the increase in water use. On the other hand, several Mediterranean countries, where water scarcity has been a problem for years, have decreased their water consumption mostly thanks to an improvement in their water intensity. The only exception is Spain where its agricultural sector continues to consume vast amounts of water in spite of its increasing scarcity (Dietzenbacher and Velasquez, 2007). Results by crop are consistent with the results at the aggregated level except for vegetables of which water use changes have been primarily driven by changes in final demand and water intensity.
Issue Date:2019-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Maria Gerveni
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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