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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5094-5119; doi:10.3390/su7055094

How Sustainable is the Increase in the Water Footprint of the Spanish Agricultural Sector? A Provincial Analysis between 1955 and 2005–2010

1
Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), 48008 Bilbao, Spain
2
Department of Economic Analysis, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50005 Zaragoza, Spain
3
Department of Applied Economics and Economic History, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50005 Zaragoza, Spain
4
Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Universitat de Girona, 17071 Girona, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arjen Y. Hoekstra
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Abstract

In the context of a relatively scarce water country, the article analyzes the changes in 50 years in the water footprint (WF) in Spain evaluating its sustainability. For that purpose, firstly we make use of the regional information of the water footprints and crop production to estimate the WF of production over the 50 provinces in Spain, looking at the variation between the years 1955 and 2005–2010. The detail in the information of crops (more than 150 of them) statistics allows us to examine the types and origin of changes (in volume produced, shifts towards more or less water intensive crops). Secondly, we estimate sustainability indicators also at the provincial level, which let us evaluate whether this change has created or incremented the risk of physical and economic water stress. Thirdly, we introduce the economic perspective, providing evidence on the infrastructures built and public sector expenditure, as an approximation to the costs of the increases in WF, particularly meaningful for those water stressed areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; Spanish agriculture; irrigation; environmental history water footprint; Spanish agriculture; irrigation; environmental history
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cazcarro, I.; Duarte, R.; Martín-Retortillo, M.; Pinilla, V.; Serrano, A. How Sustainable is the Increase in the Water Footprint of the Spanish Agricultural Sector? A Provincial Analysis between 1955 and 2005–2010. Sustainability 2015, 7, 5094-5119.

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