Water footprints of cities : indicators for sustainable consumption and production

  • Water footprints have been proposed as sustainability indicators, relating the consumption of goods like food to the amount of water necessary for their production and the impacts of that water use in the source regions. We further developed the existing water footprint methodology, by globally resolving virtual water flows from production to consumption regions for major food crops at 5 arcmin spatial resolution. We distinguished domestic and international flows, and assessed local impacts of export production. Applying this method to three exemplary cities, Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find major differences in amounts, composition, and origin of green and blue virtual water imports, due to differences in diets, trade integration and crop water productivities in the source regions. While almost all of Delhi's and Lagos' virtual water imports are of domestic origin, Berlin on average imports from more than 4000 km distance, in particular soy (livestock feed), coffee and cocoa. While 42% of Delhi's virtual water imports are blue water based, the fractions for Berlin and Lagos are 2 and 0.5%, respectively, roughly equal to the water volumes abstracted in these two cities for domestic water use. Some of the external source regions of Berlin's virtual water imports appear to be critically water scarce and/or food insecure. However, for deriving recommendations on sustainable consumption and trade, further analysis of context-specific costs and benefits associated with export production will be required.

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Metadaten
Author:Holger Hoff, Petra Döll, Marianela Fader, Dieter Gerten, Stefan Hauser, Stefan Siebert
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-329730
DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-18-213-2014
ISSN:1607-7938
ISSN:1027-5606
Parent Title (English):Hydrology and earth system sciences, 18.2014, S. 213-226 + suppl.
Publisher:European Geosciences Union
Place of publication:Katlenburg-Lindau.
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2014/01/16
Date of first Publication:2014/01/16
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/02/19
Volume:18
Page Number:14
First Page:213
Last Page:226
Note:
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
HeBIS-PPN:372308198
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0