Margaryta Pustova and Valentina Szalay, University College Freiburg
Since the invention of the concept of virtual water – the volume of water input into the production of a certain product, e.g. a tomato, measured at the place of production – growing attention has been paid to the possibility of it being employed as a means of approaching the global water crisis. Thus, countries experiencing low to no water stress should be obliged to export more virtual water to water-stressed countries than they import. Since Germany is considered to be a low-water-stress country, it is expected to adapt its trading policies accordingly. To verify if this hold true, in the presented study, the amounts of virtual water exported and imported by Germany from selected medium to high water stressed nations is evaluated. For the purpose of the project, only agricultural products were taken into account and divided into three main categories: animal production, crop production, and overall food production. In the following, a short introduction into the concept of virtual water will be given, followed by a detailed explanation of the methods used in the study, as well as results for each of the categories. Moreover, encountered limitations will be addressed and a final conclusion will be drawn.
Keywords: virtual water trade, ArcGIS, virtual water content, global water crisis.