Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network

S. Suweis, M. Konar, C. Dalin, N. Hanasaki, A. Rinaldo, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Recurrent or ephemeral water shortages are a crucial global challenge, in particular because of their impacts on food production. The global character of this challenge is reflected in the trade among nations of virtual water, i.e., the amount of water used to produce a given commodity. We build, analyze and model the network describing the transfer of virtual water between world nations for staple food products. We find that all the key features of the network are well described by a model that reproduces both the topological and weighted properties of the global virtual water trade network, by assuming as sole controls each country's gross domestic product and yearly rainfall on agricultural areas. We capture and quantitatively describe the high degree of globalization of water trade and show that a small group of nations play a key role in the connectivity of the network and in the global redistribution of virtual water. Finally, we illustrate examples of prediction of the structure of the network under future political, economic and climatic scenarios, suggesting that the crucial importance of the countries that trade large volumes of water will be strengthened.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10403
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

water
products
food production
Gross Domestic Product
commodity
globalization
connectivity
agricultural land
rainfall
prediction
economics
food product
used water
staple food
world
commodities
food
predictions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Suweis, S., Konar, M., Dalin, C., Hanasaki, N., Rinaldo, A., & Rodriguez-Iturbe, I. (2011). Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network. Geophysical Research Letters, 38(10), [L10403]. DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046837

Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network. / Suweis, S.; Konar, M.; Dalin, C.; Hanasaki, N.; Rinaldo, A.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, No. 10, L10403, 01.05.2011.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Suweis, S, Konar, M, Dalin, C, Hanasaki, N, Rinaldo, A & Rodriguez-Iturbe, I 2011, 'Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network' Geophysical Research Letters, vol 38, no. 10, L10403. DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046837
Suweis S, Konar M, Dalin C, Hanasaki N, Rinaldo A, Rodriguez-Iturbe I. Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network. Geophysical Research Letters. 2011 May 1;38(10). L10403. Available from, DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046837
Suweis, S. ; Konar, M. ; Dalin, C. ; Hanasaki, N. ; Rinaldo, A. ; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I./ Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 38, No. 10.
@article{15c09fba35334df99940964c3bfeea27,
title = "Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network",
abstract = "Recurrent or ephemeral water shortages are a crucial global challenge, in particular because of their impacts on food production. The global character of this challenge is reflected in the trade among nations of virtual water, i.e., the amount of water used to produce a given commodity. We build, analyze and model the network describing the transfer of virtual water between world nations for staple food products. We find that all the key features of the network are well described by a model that reproduces both the topological and weighted properties of the global virtual water trade network, by assuming as sole controls each country's gross domestic product and yearly rainfall on agricultural areas. We capture and quantitatively describe the high degree of globalization of water trade and show that a small group of nations play a key role in the connectivity of the network and in the global redistribution of virtual water. Finally, we illustrate examples of prediction of the structure of the network under future political, economic and climatic scenarios, suggesting that the crucial importance of the countries that trade large volumes of water will be strengthened.",
author = "S. Suweis and M. Konar and C. Dalin and N. Hanasaki and A. Rinaldo and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe",
year = "2011",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1029/2011GL046837",
volume = "38",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Structure and controls of the global virtual water trade network

AU - Suweis,S.

AU - Konar,M.

AU - Dalin,C.

AU - Hanasaki,N.

AU - Rinaldo,A.

AU - Rodriguez-Iturbe,I.

PY - 2011/5/1

Y1 - 2011/5/1

N2 - Recurrent or ephemeral water shortages are a crucial global challenge, in particular because of their impacts on food production. The global character of this challenge is reflected in the trade among nations of virtual water, i.e., the amount of water used to produce a given commodity. We build, analyze and model the network describing the transfer of virtual water between world nations for staple food products. We find that all the key features of the network are well described by a model that reproduces both the topological and weighted properties of the global virtual water trade network, by assuming as sole controls each country's gross domestic product and yearly rainfall on agricultural areas. We capture and quantitatively describe the high degree of globalization of water trade and show that a small group of nations play a key role in the connectivity of the network and in the global redistribution of virtual water. Finally, we illustrate examples of prediction of the structure of the network under future political, economic and climatic scenarios, suggesting that the crucial importance of the countries that trade large volumes of water will be strengthened.

AB - Recurrent or ephemeral water shortages are a crucial global challenge, in particular because of their impacts on food production. The global character of this challenge is reflected in the trade among nations of virtual water, i.e., the amount of water used to produce a given commodity. We build, analyze and model the network describing the transfer of virtual water between world nations for staple food products. We find that all the key features of the network are well described by a model that reproduces both the topological and weighted properties of the global virtual water trade network, by assuming as sole controls each country's gross domestic product and yearly rainfall on agricultural areas. We capture and quantitatively describe the high degree of globalization of water trade and show that a small group of nations play a key role in the connectivity of the network and in the global redistribution of virtual water. Finally, we illustrate examples of prediction of the structure of the network under future political, economic and climatic scenarios, suggesting that the crucial importance of the countries that trade large volumes of water will be strengthened.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79956345850&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79956345850&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2011GL046837

DO - 10.1029/2011GL046837

M3 - Article

VL - 38

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

T2 - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 10

M1 - L10403

ER -