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Water 2015, 7(1), 132-152; doi:10.3390/w7010132

The Spanish Food Industry on Global Supply Chains and Its Impact on Water Resources

1
Department of Economic Analysis, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universidad de Zaragoza, Gran Vía 2, Zaragoza 50005, Spain
2
Department of Applied Economics and Economic History, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universidad de Zaragoza, Gran Vía 2, Zaragoza 50005, Spain
3
Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universitat de Girona, Carrer de la Universitat de Girona 10, Girona 17071, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 17 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 29 December 2014
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Abstract

The study of the impact of economic activities on natural resources through global supply chains is increasingly demanded in the context of the growing globalization of economies and product fragmentation. Taking Spain as a case study and a sector with significant economic and environmental impacts, the agri-food industry, the objective of this work is two-fold. First, we estimate the associated water impact, both from the production and consumption perspectives, paying special attention to the water embodied in production exchanges among countries and sectors. To that aim, we use an environmentally-extended multiregional input-output model (MRIO). Second, we assess the main driving factors behind changes in direct and embodied water consumption between the years 1995 and 2009 by means of a structural decomposition analysis. The MRIO model provides a comprehensive estimate of the economic linkages among regions and economic sectors and, therefore, allows calculating the environmental impacts over international value chains. The results indicate that the food industry exerts large impacts on global water resources, particularly given the remarkable interactions with the domestic and foreign agricultural sectors, These growing linkages show how consumption patterns, and, therefore, lifestyles, involve large environmental impacts through the whole and global supply chains. View Full-Text
Keywords: food industry; water; demand; trade; technology; input-output food industry; water; demand; trade; technology; input-output
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Duarte, R.; Pinilla, V.; Serrano, A. The Spanish Food Industry on Global Supply Chains and Its Impact on Water Resources. Water 2015, 7, 132-152.

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