Economics at your fingertips  

Looking backward to look forward: water use and economic growth from a long-term perspective

Rosa Duarte (), Vicente Pinilla () and Ana Serrano ()

Applied Economics, 2014, vol. 46, issue 2, 212-224

Abstract: Recent research has examined the relationship between natural resources and economic growth. Considered vitally important, not only for humanity's well-being but also for the integrity of the ecosystem, the relationship between water use and economic growth has nevertheless traditionally attracted little attention by analysts. This article studies water use trends from 1900 to 2000 throughout the world and their relationship to the main determinants of economic growth. To do this, we first analyse water use trajectories. Second, to proceed with the determinants of water use, we reformulate the Ehrlich and Holdren's impact, population, affluence, technology (IPAT) equation (1971), decomposing water use trends into changes in economic demands and in water use intensity on the basis of a decomposition analysis. Finally, a simple scenario analysis is conducted, to project future water use trends under different economic, demographic and technological assumptions. The empirical evidence shows that economic and population growth have been crucial in explaining the increase in water use over the past 100 years, with significant regional differences. Nevertheless, the decline in water use intensity has been responsible for a significant reduction in the growth of total water use.

Date: 2014
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: Looking backward to look forward: water use and economic growth from a long-term perspective (2011) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.844329

Access Statistics for this article

Applied Economics is currently edited by Anita Phillips

More articles in Applied Economics from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().

Page updated 2020-09-25
Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:2:p:212-224