Food Security and Water Security and the Role of Virtual Water Trade

Virtual water is a relatively new concept that emerged in the mid-nineties. Virtual water is the amount of water consumed for the production of agricultural commodities which are then exported to water scarce areas, thus international food trade can be seen as trade in virtual water.  For example the production of one kilogram of rice requires about 2500 liters of water, therefore when Bahrain imports rice it is as if Bahrain also imported the water used for the production of this crop. Virtual water imports can ease the pressure on water resources. In water-scarce countries, it is better to import virtual water through importing food instead of using scarce local water. 

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