The impact of economic growth on natural resources and the environment constitutes a fundamental topic in current research. In particular, water, a fundamental resource for human beings, has been subject to intense pressure in recent decades. Within this context, this article examines the growth of the blue water footprint of the Spanish wine industry and its environmental impact. In order to do this, we will first calculate the blue water footprint of wine, using a bottom-up methodology. Our methodology introduces certain advances with respect to those usually used. Our results show a very fast increase of the blue water footprint from 1995, which has multiplied six-fold in twenty years with an extreme concentration in the region of Castilla-La Mancha, which accounts for 70% of this increase. The expansion of irrigated vine growing in this region has played a relevant role in the serious problems suffered by its aquifers.
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