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Title:Agricultural virtual water flows within the USA
Author(s):Dang, Qian
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):agriculture
virtual water
Abstract:Trade plays an increasingly important role in the global food system, which is projected to be strained by population growth, economic development, and climate change. For this reason, there has been a surge of interest in the water resources embodied in international trade, referred to as `global virtual water trade'. In this paper, we present a comprehensive assessment of virtual water flows within the USA, a country with global importance as a major agricultural producer and trade power. This is the first study of domestic virtual water flows based upon intra-national food transfer empirical data and it provides insight into how the properties of virtual water transfers vary across scales. We find that the volume of virtual water flows within the USA is equivalent to 51% of international flows, which is slightly higher than the USA food value and volume shares, due to the fact that water-intensive meat commodities comprise a much larger fraction of food transfers within the USA. The USA virtual water flow network is more social, homogeneous, and equitable than the global virtual water trade network, although it is still not perfectly equitable. Importantly, a core group of U.S. States is central to the network structure, indicating that both domestic and international trade may be vulnerable to disruptive climate or economic shocks in these U.S. States.
Issue Date:2015-05-01
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/78693
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Qian Dang
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015


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