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Water 2016, 8(11), 517; doi:10.3390/w8110517

Water Footprint and Virtual Water Trade of Brazil

1
Federal University of Campina Grande, Av. Aprígio Veloso, 882, Bodocongó, Campina Grande PB 58429-900, Brazil
2
UNESC Faculdades, R. Vidal de Negreiros, 111—Centro, Campina Grande PB 58400-263, Brazil
3
Twente Water Centre, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
4
Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 259770 Singapore, Singapore
5
Estadual University of Paraíba, R. Baraúnas, 351—Universitário, Campina Grande PB 58429-500, Brazil
6
Federal University of Paraíba, Castelo Branco, João Pessoa PB 58051-900, Brazil
7
MDL Brasil Consultoria & Marketing, Consultoria para o Desenvolvimento, João Pessoa PB 58051-900, Brazil
8
Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Recife PE 52171-900, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 13 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint Assessment)
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Abstract

Freshwater scarcity has increased at an alarming rate worldwide; improved water management plays a vital role in increasing food production and security. This study aims to determine the water footprint of Brazil’s national food consumption, the virtual water flows associated with international trade in the main agricultural commodities, as well as water scarcity, water self-sufficiency and water dependency per Brazilian region. While previous country studies on water footprints and virtual water trade focused on virtual water importers or water-scarce countries, this is the first study to concentrate on a water-abundant virtual water-exporting country. Besides, it is the first study establishing international virtual water trade balances per state, which is relevant given the fact that water scarcity varies across states within the country, so the origin of virtual water exports matters. The results show that the average water footprint of Brazilian food consumption is 1619 m3/person/year. Beef contributes most (21%) to this total. We find a net virtual water export of 54.8 billion m3/year, mainly to Europe, which imports 41% of the gross amount of the virtual water exported from Brazil. The northeast, the region with the highest water scarcity, has a net import of virtual water. The southeast, next in terms of water scarcity, shows large virtual water exports, mainly related to the export of sugar. The north, which has the most water, does not show a high virtual water export rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; water scarcity; national consumption; trade water footprint; water scarcity; national consumption; trade
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MDPI and ACS Style

da Silva, V.P.R.; de Oliveira, S.D.; Hoekstra, A.Y.; Dantas Neto, J.; Campos, J.H.B.C.; Braga, C.C.; de Araújo, L.E.; Aleixo, D.O.; de Brito, J.I.B.; de Souza, M.D.; de Holanda, R.M. Water Footprint and Virtual Water Trade of Brazil. Water 2016, 8, 517.

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