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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.

Ben Wise

Ben Wise

Visiting Researcher Ben Wise is a visiting research at KAPSARC. He supports the Policy Decision Sciences group as the main architect of…

Expertise

  • Formals models of planning
  • negotiation
  • optimization
  • trade
  • finance

Publications See all Ben Wise’s publications

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging…

January 23, 2018

Modeling collective decision-making processes with the KAPSARC toolkit for behavioral analysis

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging…

October 19, 2017
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…

Lama Yaseen

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…

Expertise

  • Research tool development
  • modeling collective descision making processes
  • GCC cooperation
  • and energy access for humanitarian assistance.

Publications See all Lama Yaseen’s publications

The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging…

October 17, 2018
Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging…

January 23, 2018
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