Learning from Water Footprints

who loses, who wins, and who cares?

  • Chris Perry


The ‘footprint’ concept is widely used as an indicator to assess CO2 emissions and the water embodied in crop production. A comparison of key features reveals that CO2 footprints are a global concern no matter their location or source; water footprints only have local relevance, being locally generated and impacting only at local levels. As such, addressing excessive water use is a local concern. Where excessive use is not managed, a process of ‘chaotic disallocation’ from irrigated agriculture ensues, resulting in reduced local production and, through market mechanisms, increased demand elsewhere. Those areas where water scarcity is managed sustainably will see more profitable opportunities for irrigated production, though the impact on prices will be of little concern to consumers in the developed world.


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How to Cite
PERRY, Chris. Learning from Water Footprints. Policy Quarterly, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 3, aug. 2019. ISSN 2324-1101. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/pq/article/view/5690>. Date accessed: 07 july 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/pq.v15i3.5690.