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  • State Past Project

Project Aim

This project estimates the energy required to meet water demand for agriculture in 17 countries.  The results give insight in to the productivity of water (and the energy required to withdraw that water) on a crop per drop and GDP per drop basis. The study begins with an analysis of the water supply in select countries, focusing on the percentage of total water withdrawals used for agriculture that come from conventional and unconventional sources, including desalination, groundwater and surface water. The study then computes the energy associated with each withdrawal method. The energy figures are then compared to the agricultural output (per ton and GDP) to determine productivity levels for each country.  The paper has three objectives.  First, it seeks to understand how and why the energy required for water supply differs across countries.  Second, it establishes which countries appear to be over-consuming water given factors such as water scarcity and industrial structure.  Last, it offers policy recommendations for reducing water use and decreasing the energy used to supply water.

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