The water footprint of cotton consumption: An assessment of the impact of worldwide consumption of cotton products on the water resources in the cotton producing countries

Share/Save/Bookmark

Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. and Savenije, H.H.G. and Gautam, R. (2006) The water footprint of cotton consumption: An assessment of the impact of worldwide consumption of cotton products on the water resources in the cotton producing countries. Ecological Economics, 60 (1). pp. 186-203. ISSN 0921-8009

[img] PDF
Restricted to UT campus only
: Request a copy
1MB
Abstract:The consumption of a cotton product is connected to a chain of impacts on the water resources in the countries where cotton is grown and processed. The aim of this paper is to assess the ‘water footprint’ of worldwide cotton consumption, identifying both the location and the character of the impacts. The study distinguishes between three types of impact: evaporation of infiltrated rainwater for cotton growth (green water use), withdrawal of ground- or surface water for irrigation or processing (blue water use) and water pollution during growth or processing. The latter impact is quantified in terms of the dilution volume necessary to assimilate the pollution. For the period 1997–2001 the study shows that the worldwide consumption of cotton products requires 256 Gm3 of water per year, out of which about 42% is blue water, 39% green water and 19% dilution water. Impacts are typically cross-border. About 84% of the water footprint of cotton consumption in the EU25 region is located outside Europe, with major impacts particularly in India and Uzbekistan. Given the general lack of proper water pricing mechanisms or other ways of transmitting production-information, cotton consumers have little incentive to take responsibility for the impacts on remote water systems.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2006 Elsevier
Faculty:
Engineering Technology (CTW)
Research Group:
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/58353
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.11.027
Export this item as:BibTeX
EndNote
HTML Citation
Reference Manager

 

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Metis ID: 230872