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Water 2016, 8(1), 30; doi:10.3390/w8010030

Anthropogenic Nitrogen and Phosphorus Emissions and Related Grey Water Footprints Caused by EU-27′s Crop Production and Consumption

1
Twente Water Center, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1/D4, 1020 Vienna, Austria
3
Energy Systems Research Group (GISE), Polytechnic Faculty, National University of Asunción, Campus San Lorenzo C.C. 2111, Paraguay
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rolf David Vogt
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1293 KB, uploaded 20 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

Water is a prerequisite for life on our planet. Due to climate change and pollution, water availability for agricultural production, industry and households is increasingly put at risk. With agriculture being the largest water user as well as polluter worldwide, we estimate anthropogenic nitrogen and phosphorus emissions to fresh water related to global crop production at a spatial resolution level of 5 by 5 arc min and calculate the grey water footprints (GWF) related to EU-27′s crop production. A multiregional input-output model is used to trace the the GWF embodied in the final consumption of crop products by the EU-27. The total GWF related to crop production in the EU-27 in 2007 was 1 × 1012 m3/year. Spain contributed about 40% to this total. Production of cereals (wheat, rice and other cereals) take the largest share, accounting for 30% of the GWF, followed by fruits (17%), vegetables (14%), and oil crops (13%). The total agricultural GWF of the EU-27 related to crop consumption was 1830 billion m3/year, which is 3700 m3/year per capita on average. Overall, the EU-27 was able to externalize about 41% of the GWF to the rest of the world through imports of crop products. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen and phosphorus emission; diffuse pollution; grey water footprint; consumption; multi-regional input-output analysis nitrogen and phosphorus emission; diffuse pollution; grey water footprint; consumption; multi-regional input-output analysis
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

Mekonnen, M.M.; Lutter, S.; Martinez, A. Anthropogenic Nitrogen and Phosphorus Emissions and Related Grey Water Footprints Caused by EU-27′s Crop Production and Consumption. Water 2016, 8, 30.

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