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Abstract

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging economies is the policy trade-off between managing water resources and achieving food security objectives. This policy trade-off is very relevant in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which represent some of the most water scarce regions of the world and are also intent on achieving food security through domestic agriculture production. We offer a case study on the policy options for reducing water consumption while maintaining food security and farmer welfare in the GCC’s largest country, Saudi Arabia. Specifically, we explore how crop substitution can reduce aggregate water use without compromising the current level of food security or farmer welfare. Additionally, we assess the potential social implications of crop substitution options in order to better understand the political feasibility of various policy choices. The results suggest that if water usage is to be minimised while maintaining food production and farmer welfare, then the primary candidates for reduction are crops or livestock with large water intensity and low revenue and/or low production. Eliminating these types of crops would yield higher water savings than moderate reductions across a large portfolio of crops at the lowest political cost.

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-6695-5_12

Authors

Christopher Napoli

Christopher Napoli

Christopher is a former research fellow focusing on natural resource economics and energy policy. Christopher is a former research fellow focusing on natural resource economics and energy policy.

David Wogan

David Wogan

Former Research Associate David is a former research associate who centered on modeling the economics of integrated energy systems, with a focus on Saudi… David is a former research associate who centered on modeling the economics of integrated energy systems, with a focus on Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Gulf countries. His recent studies have focused on the impact of energy price reform on the technology and fuel mix of the Saudi energy sector and the nexus of water, energy, and agriculture. Prior to joining KAPSARC, David led energy efficiency efforts at the municipally-owned electric utility in Austin, Texas and served the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Lama Yaseen

Senior Research Analyst Lama is a software developer and senior research analyst in KAPSARC’s Policy and Decision Science program. She is one of… Lama is a software developer and senior research analyst in KAPSARC’s Policy and Decision Science program. She is one of the main contributors to the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB). Lama is also working on a project examining renewable energy policies in the GCC, which identifies effective policies to promote deployment of renewable energy. In addition, she is developing a project on energy access in humanitarian assistance missions, which aims to provide a better understanding of basic energy demand in displaced communities.

Expertise

  • Research tool development
  • Modeling collective descision making processes
  • GCC cooperation
  • Energy access for humanitarian assistance.

Publications See all Lama Yaseen’s publications

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