«Virtual water»: the importance of «virtual water» in world production and international trade

Keywords: «virtual water», «the water footprint», concept, world production, international trade, export, import, correlation


One of the ways to solve the problem of water supply upgrading is to improve the spatial organization of global economic activity on the basis of a deeper accounting and rational use of the water factor. The study of the costs of the so-called “virtual water” in the context of countries and branches of the world economy can play an important role therein. The concept of «virtual water» as well as the essence of definition of «the water footprint of a product» is revealed. The possibility of considering them as synonyms in scientific research is justified. The achievements of foreign scientists in research related to «virtual water» and its consumption of various sectors of the world economy and countries worldwide are shown. The article emphasizes that according to the concept of «virtual water», revealed by Allan J.A. in his works, it could serve as an additional source of water for countries with an arid climate through its import and export as a part of finished goods (as «the water footprint»).  The paper highlights the list of countries with the largest volumes of export and import of «virtual water» through the comprehensive analysis of foreign publications on «the water footprint of a product». On the basis of the correlation analysis it is proved that the tight connection between the countries’ water availability and their export of «virtual water» is almost absent (R = 0,24). On the contrary, the correlation coefficient between the water resources availability of the main importing countries of «virtual water» and the volumes of their imports is high (R = 0.76).Consequently, «virtual water» nowadays partly affects the global commodity policy and the development of economic activity worldwide. In the future, with the growth of the water factor, the role as well as the importance of «virtual water» will increase, which in turn will pose amendments in world production and international trade.


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How to Cite
Golikov, A. (2019). «Virtual water»: the importance of «virtual water» in world production and international trade. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series: International Relations. Economics. Country Studies. Tourism, (8), 10-16. https://doi.org/10.26565/2310-9513-2018-8-01