Analyses of water footprint of Beijing in an interregional input-output framework

Beijing is under severe water resource pressure due to the rapid economic development and growing population. This study quantitatively evaluates the water footprint of Beijing in an interregional input-output framework with a focus on blue water resources and uses. The inter-connections of water resources between Beijing and other provinces are analyzed with a sectoral specification. The results show that the total water footprint of Beijing is 4498.4 106 m3/year, of which 51% is from the external water footprint acquired through virtual water import. Agriculture has the highest water footprint of 1524.5 106 m3/year with 56% coming from external sources. The main virtual water provider for Beijing is Hebei, another water scarce region, from which Beijing receives virtual water of 373.3 106 m3/year with 40% from agriculture. The results of this study suggest that the interregional trade coordination, especially for the main sectors with high water use intensity, is important for enhancing the efficiency of regional and national water resource utilization.

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Beijing