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Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 135;

Decomposition of the Urban Water Footprint of Food Consumption: A Case Study of Xiamen City

Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Resource and Environmental Science, Chifeng University, Chifeng 024000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 8 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 23 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Decomposition of the urban water footprint can provide insight for water management. In this paper, a new decomposition method based on the log-mean Divisia index model (LMDI) was developed to analyze the driving forces of water footprint changes, attributable to food consumption. Compared to previous studies, this new approach can distinguish between various factors relating to urban and rural residents. The water footprint of food consumption in Xiamen City, from 2001 to 2012, was calculated. Following this, the driving forces of water footprint change were broken down into considerations of the population, the structure of food consumption, the level of food consumption, water intensity, and the population rate. Research shows that between 2001 and 2012, the water footprint of food consumption in Xiamen increased by 675.53 Mm3, with a growth rate of 88.69%. Population effects were the leading contributors to this change, accounting for 87.97% of the total growth. The food consumption structure also had a considerable effect on this increase. Here, the urban area represented 94.96% of the water footprint increase, driven by the effect of the food consumption structure. Water intensity and the urban/rural population rate had a weak positive cumulative effect. The effects of the urban/rural population rate on the water footprint change in urban and rural areas, however, were individually significant. The level of food consumption was the only negative factor. In terms of food categories, meat and grain had the greatest effects during the study period. Controlling the urban population, promoting a healthy and less water-intensive diet, reducing food waste, and improving agriculture efficiency, are all elements of an effective approach for mitigating the growth of the water footprint. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; food consumption; LMDI; urban; rural; Xiamen water footprint; food consumption; LMDI; urban; rural; Xiamen

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Kang, J.; Lin, J.; Zhao, X.; Zhao, S.; Kou, L. Decomposition of the Urban Water Footprint of Food Consumption: A Case Study of Xiamen City. Sustainability 2017, 9, 135.

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