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GTAP Resource #5107

"An integrated assessment of water scarcity effects on energy and land use decisions and mitigation policies"
by Edmonds, James and Katherine Calvin

Water is an essential input to global food and energy production. Water is already scarce in many regions and increases in water demand due to growth in population, energy, and food demand may increase scarcity in the future. Efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change could exacerbate this problem. We use the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), where interactions between population, economic growth, energy, land and water resources interact simultaneously in a dynamically evolving system, to investigate how water scarcity affects energy and land use decisions in the future. In GCAM, competing claims on water resources from all consumers—energy, land, and economy—are reconciled with water resource availability—from renewable water, non-renewable groundwater sources and desalinated water—across 235 major river basins. Limits to hydrologic systems have significant effects on energy and land use induced emissions as limits to supply forces constraints on the distribution and quantity of water used. We explore these effects and how they evolve under different socioeconomic conditions and climate change mitigation policies, both of which can significantly alter energy and food production and subsequently water use. We find that previous estimates of global water withdrawal projections are overestimated, as our simulations show that it is more economical in some basins to alter agricultural and energy activities rather than utilize non-renewable groundwater or desalinated water. This study highlights the fact that water is a binding factor in agriculture, energy and land use decisions in integrated assessment models (IAMs), and stresses the crucial role of water in regulating agricultural commodities trade and land-use and energy decisions.

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2016 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 19th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Washington DC, USA
Date: 2016
Created: Edmonds, J. (4/18/2016)
Updated: Edmonds, J. (4/18/2016)
Visits: 1,897
- Water availability

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