Global sustainable water and land use in supply and demand of agricultural commodities under social and environmental pressures to reach global water and food security

Type
PhD research

Duration
2016-2020

Persons involved:
Prof. dr. ir. Arjen Hoekstra Promotor
Dr. Maarten Krol Supervisor

Funding
EU-project  'Moving towards Adaptive Governance In Complexity (MAGIC)' 

Summary of the research
Water and land resources are limited and become scarcer. Rising food demands and changing diets are expected to increase the global demand for freshwater and land resources for food production in the near future. Consumer choices on how much and what food they buy affects the requirements of water and land resources for food production. Only few studies assess the sustainability of footprints, however no comprehensive global study exists that analyses not only the environmental sustainability of the water and land footprint, but also efficiency, equity and dependency.

 This research aims to increase the understanding of past, present, and future water and land use related to food consumption, and of how food production systems are influenced by global water and land availability around the world. This will be done by quantifying demands for water and land resources of national food demands by using the water and land footprint indicators. Here, a distinction is made between the internal and the external footprint of nations. Outcomes will be used to analyse and assess the spatial and temporal patterns of water and land use behind the consumption of nations, the contribution of countries to the exhaustion of available water and land resources at local scales, and how both water and land use can be reduced.