World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
14. Valuing water: monetary and non-monetary dimensions
King’s College London
Virtual water is traded when used consumptively in production of traded product, and thus no longer available for use downstream.
The agricultural land in Latin America occurs in a mix of humid and dry lands.
Agriculture in drylands => irrigated => greater leaf area than preirrigation cover => greater evapotranspiration => +ve water 'footprint' (local loss)
Agriculture in humid lands = replace tree cover with rainfed crops => less evapotranspiration => negative water 'footprint' (local gain)
New agriculture in previously natural areas also 'consumes' forest carbon and biodiversity
Embedded carbon = lost climate change mitigation potential
Embedded biodiversity = lost opportunities for biotech and medical discovery