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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5304-5320; doi:10.3390/su7055304

A Decomposition and Comparison Analysis of International Water Footprint Time Series

1,2,†,* and 2,3,†
1
Department of Economics, Cà Foscari University, Venice 30121, Italy
2
IEFE, Bocconi University, Milan 20136, Italy
3
School of International Studies, University of Trento, Trento 38122, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ashok K. Chapagain
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 27 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Abstract

This paper deals with the construction, decomposition and comparison of water footprint time series in 40 countries and one aggregate macro-region, in the period 1995–2009. The analysis of the different “footpaths” allows us to investigate the possible causes behind the time evolution of water footprints in the various countries. We notice that the physical and economic impact of economic growth on water resources has been significantly lower than what it could have been, for several reasons. First, both production and consumption patterns are shifting away from water-intensive goods. Second, a large part of consumed water is actually not blue water, susceptible to alternative uses. Finally, we do not find strong evidence of gains in the economic productivity of water (dollars per water unit) in many countries, but we do find evidence of indirect efficiency gains, related to a composition of factors in the production processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: water; water footprint; structural decomposition; cross country comparison; world input-output database water; water footprint; structural decomposition; cross country comparison; world input-output database
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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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Roson, R.; Sartori, M. A Decomposition and Comparison Analysis of International Water Footprint Time Series. Sustainability 2015, 7, 5304-5320.

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