Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-226
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-226

  06 Nov 2020

06 Nov 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESSD.

Virtual water trade and water footprint of agricultural goods: the 1961–2016 CWASI database

Stefania Tamea, Marta Tuninetti, Irene Soligno, and Francesco Laio Stefania Tamea et al.
  • Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, 10129, Italy

Abstract. To support national and global assessments of water use in agriculture, we build a comprehensive and harmonized database of water footprint and virtual water trade (VWT) data for hundreds of agricultural goods. The water footprint, indicating the water needed for the production of a good, including rainwater and water withdrawals, is expressed as a volume per unit weight of commodity (or unit water footprint, uWF), which is here estimated at the country scale for every year in the period 1961–2016. The uWF is also differentiated, where possible, between production and supply, referring to local production only and to a mixed role of local production and import, respectively. The VWT data, representing the amount of water needed for the production of a good and virtually exchanged with the international trade, are provided for each commodity as bilateral trade matrices, between origin and destination countries, for every year in the period 1986–2016). The database, developed within the EU-funded CWASI project, improves upon earlier datasets because it takes into account the annual variability of the uWF of crops, it accounts for both produced and imported goods in the definition of the uWF and it traces goods across the international trade up to the origin of goods' production. The CWASI database is available on the Zenodo repository at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3987468 (Tamea et al., 2020) and welcomes contributions and improvements from the research community to enable analyses specifically accounting for the temporal evolution of the uWF.

Stefania Tamea et al.

 
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Stefania Tamea et al.

Data sets

CWASI database: virtual water trade and consumptive water footprint of agricultural products (1961-2016) Stefania Tamea, Marta Tuninetti, Irene Soligno, and Francesco Laio https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3987468

Stefania Tamea et al.

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Short summary
The database includes water footprint and virtual water trade data for hundreds of agricultural goods and for all countries, covering a minimum period of 30 years. Data improve upon earlier datasets because of the annual variability of data and the tracing of goods' origin within the international trade. The CWASI database aims at supporting national and global assessments of water use in agriculture and food production/consumption, and welcomes contributions from the research community.