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Italy's Volumetric, Scarce and Social-scarce water footprint: a Hydro Economic Input-Output Analysis

Gino Sturla, Lorenzo Ciulla and Benedetto Rocchi

Working Papers - Economics from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa

Abstract: This study estimates the pressure exerted by Italian consumption on domestic and foreign water resources, adopting the Water Embodied in Bilateral Trade (WEBT) and Multiregional Input Output (MRIO) approaches, and using the information of the most recent (year 2014) World Input-Output Database (WIOD). Disaggregated results are obtained at country/industry level, identifying geographical and sectoral hotspots. We compare the volumetric measure of the water footprint (WF) with its impact-based measure, the scarce water footprint (SWF), and propose the concept of scarce social water footprint (SoSWF) incorporating criteria of social goals fulfillment. We find that SWF represents 33.9% of volumetric WF, but the geographical breakdown reveals a relevant asymmetry between domestic and external water exploitation: while only 11.2% of domestic WF exploited scarce water resources, SWF for imports amounted to 54.9% of the water used to produce imported goods. The Italian external SWF is highly concentrated in manufacturing, agriculture and electricity, gas and water supply in China and India. About 43% of WF generated impacts on socially scarce water resources. The inclusion of social criteria in the assessment of WF deepens the asymmetries between domestic and external footprints (12.8% vs. 71.1% of WF).

Keywords: Input-output; Water footprint; Water stress; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C67 Q25 Q50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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