Water quality stress shifting within inter-regional commodity trade

PhD research


Persons involved
Prof. dr. ir. Arjen Hoekstra, University of Twente (Promotor)
Dr. Ranran Wang, University of Twente (Daily Supervisor)
Quanliang Ye, University of Twente (Ph.D Candidate)

Chinese Scholarship Council

Summary of the research
Apart from the economic promotion both in export and import regions, interregional commodity trade has shown wide influences on human society. Many studies have linked carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, air pollution, and threats to biodiversity with export-intensive industries, and then linked the exports to consuming countries/regions. It was recently found that trade also acts as a mechanism through which water-deficient regions shift local water quantity stress to the water-sufficient exporters of goods and services, namely, through commodity trade, regions virtually import or export water used for the production of goods and services, known as virtual water. On the other hand, fast-growing economies with liberal trade (such as Chile) have experienced less pollution-intensive growth than closed economies (such as Bolivia and El Salvador), which then driven by the pollution shifting to export regions, same as water stress shifting, according to the trade of commodities and services. Water quantity stress implications relating to interregional commodity trade have been studied at the global, national, and basin levels. With the deteriorating state of freshwater resources due to rising pollution, it becomes important to address water stress in terms of both quantity and quality. However, the impacts of interregional commodity trade on water quality have rarely been investigated, no mention to the elaboration of water quality stress shifting among regions. This is mainly because of lack of data for pollution releases to water bodies from different sectors. The overall objective of this research is to estimate the burden shifting of water scarcity and pollution through interregional commodity trade, from river basin to national to global level and over the period 1995 to 2050.

Water pollution; Pollution shifting; International trade; Water quality stress

More info
Quanliang Ye
Room Host Z-236