Net Virtual-Water “Flows”

  • Alberto Garrido
  • M. Ramón Llamas
  • Consuelo Varela-Ortega
  • Paula Novo
  • Roberto Rodríguez-Casado
  • Maite M. Aldaya
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 35)


Global trade establishes an “invisible” and indirect link between water demand and water consumption sites. The literature on virtual-water “trade” has emphasised the options available to arid and semiarid countries to use international trade to deal with water resources scarcity (Allan 2003; Yang and Zehnder 2005; Chapagain et al. 2006a; Ma et al. 2006; Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture 2007; Yang and Zehnder 2007; Aldaya et al. 2008a, b; Novo et al. 2009). However, determining whether this strategy is economically and environmentally efficient will depend on whether the real opportunity cost of water resources is properly internalised, and whether the trade is actually based on differences in competitive advantage among trading partners. It is also doubtful that “virtual-water trade” is termed a “strategy”, because no government or agent pursues it directly. Rather, it is a process that is naturally linked to trade and the exchange of goods, with the exception of Arid and Semi-Arid countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


Water Footprint Virtual Water Blue Water Segura Basin Guadalquivir Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© La Fundación Marcelino Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y López 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Garrido
    • 1
  • M. Ramón Llamas
    • 2
  • Consuelo Varela-Ortega
    • 1
  • Paula Novo
    • 1
  • Roberto Rodríguez-Casado
    • 1
  • Maite M. Aldaya
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economic and Social SciencesTechnical University of Madrid (UPM)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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