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Review

Water Footprint Study Review for Understanding and Resolving Water Issues in China

by 1,2,*, 3 and 1,2
1
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
3
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112988
Received: 26 August 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 25 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Memory of Prof. Arjen Y. Hoekstra)
The water footprint (WF) is a widely recognised and comprehensive indicator of both the direct and indirect appropriation of freshwater. It has been utilised for diverse functions, including as a key indicator of the planetary boundaries and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on the nation with the greatest WF, i.e., China, this study reviews journal articles both in English and Chinese published from January 2003 to June 2020. Using CiteSpace and bibliometric analysis of papers, journals, and keywords, we explore state-of-the-art WF accounting, driving forces, and effects. Visible differences in WF accounting keywords and spatial scales between English and Chinese literature are identified. Reported WF values for the same product varied across studies, and there was a lack of information regarding uncertainties. Key driving factors have been largely investigated for agricultural WFs but not for other sectors. The WF impact analyses primarily assess the environmental effects, ignoring the associated social and economic impacts. The development of WF studies has improved our understanding of water issues in China. However, there are still existing knowledge gaps to be filled to find solutions to WF-related issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; China; water footprint accounting; driving forces; impact analysis water footprint; China; water footprint accounting; driving forces; impact analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhuo, L.; Feng, B.; Wu, P. Water Footprint Study Review for Understanding and Resolving Water Issues in China. Water 2020, 12, 2988. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112988

AMA Style

Zhuo L, Feng B, Wu P. Water Footprint Study Review for Understanding and Resolving Water Issues in China. Water. 2020; 12(11):2988. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112988

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhuo, La; Feng, Bianbian; Wu, Pute. 2020. "Water Footprint Study Review for Understanding and Resolving Water Issues in China" Water 12, no. 11: 2988. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112988

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