Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES News

Tension of Agricultural Land and Water Use in China’s Trade: Tele-Connections, Hidden Drivers and Potential Solutions

26 June 2023

Interregional trade can potentially extend the management of scarce resources beyond a region’s territory along supply chains. Here we combined the multiregional input–output model with structural decomposition analysis to reveal the distant connections of agricultural land and water use as well as the drivers behind their variations in China. Our results show that trade-embodied agricultural land use increase by 2.3-fold and 2.5-fold for virtual agricultural water use flows from 2002 to 2012. The water-starved northern China with abundant agricultural land is the main exporter of virtual (also called trade-embodied) agricultural land and water. Moreover, the role of the virtual water use importers and exporters were determined by the availability of land, rather than water resources. Based on scenario analysis, we found that if agricultural water use efficiency of north China reached the world’s top-level but agricultural land use efficiency remained unchanged, the virtual water flows would be reduced by 32% and only water resources, not agricultural land, would be able to sustain future economic development. Our findings may provide significant information for potential solutions to China’s regional water shortage from a land-water nexus perspective.

Read the article

Last modified:27 February 2024 10.52 a.m.

More news

  • 16 April 2024

    UG signs Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

    In a significant stride toward advancing responsible research assessment and open science, the University of Groningen has officially signed the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information.

  • 02 April 2024

    Flying on wood dust

    Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG...

  • 18 March 2024

    VentureLab North helps researchers to develop succesful startups

    It has happened to many researchers. While working, you suddenly ask yourself: would this not be incredibly useful for people outside of my own research discipline? There are many ways to share the results of your research. For example, think of a...