What are the benefits of water resources


The virtual water trade is gaining increasing attention as an international concept for saving water. The advantages and disadvantages of this strategy are discussed.


Everyone is talking about the approaching global water crisis. Approaches are therefore being discussed around the world as to how this crisis can be averted. Water resources must be sustainably protected so that the present world population and future generations have access to water in an appropriate quantity and quality. On closer inspection, distribution issues have top priority. Around 1.4 billion people worldwide live without secure access to drinking water, around 2.6 billion lack adequate facilities for water disposal and treatment. And this despite the fact that there are enough water resources globally to supply all users - i.e. people and ecosystems - even with a growing world population.

Increasing pollution and inadequate infrastructure, but also a lack of political will to remedy these grievances, are usually the decisive factors that prevent people from being supplied with water. In arid countries in particular, the fact that the overwhelming proportion of the available water is used in irrigated agriculture plays a significant role (world average around 70 percent, in arid countries often around 90 percent).

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) in particular, more water is being used than can be regenerated. A solution to the problem of water scarcity is therefore particularly urgent. Because contrary to the popular opinion that wars between states will be fought over water in the future, the potential for conflict lies rather at the local level, at which the competition between the various users - households, farmers, ranchers - is intensifying. [1] The concept of "virtual water trade" represents an approach to overcoming the water crisis in the longer term and to reducing these conflicts.