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Estimation of Water Footprint of China in 2000

WANG Xin-hua,\ XU Zhong-min,\ LONG Ai-hua(State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering,CAREER,CAS,Lanzhou Gansu 730000,China)  
The concept of water footprint has been developed in order to have an indicator of water use in relation to consumption of people.The water footprint of a country /region is defined as the volume of water needed for the production of the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the country/region.Closely linked to the water footprint concept is the concept of virtual water concept.Virtual water is defined as the volume of water required to produce a commodity or service.There are two ways to calculate the water footprint.Firstly,the water footprint of a nation /region can be assessed by taking the use of domestic water resources,subtract the virtual water that flows out the country/region and add the virtual water that flow in the country/region.Secondly,the water footprint can be calculated by multiplying the amount of production of goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the country/region with the virtual water content of the corresponding products which often expressed in terms of cubic meters of water per ton of the product(=liters/kg),add the amount of domestic living water consumption.In this paper,the concept of water footprint and its calculation are put forward.Then the water footprint is computed by provinces of China in 2000.The result shows that in Northwest China the water footprint is higher than that in South and East China.Qinhai Province has the highest water footprint,935.75 m~(3)\5(人\5a)~-1.Guangxi Region has the least water footprint,466.31 m~(3)\5(人\5a)~-1.The average water footprint of China is 601 m~(3)\5(人\5a)~-1.The structures of water footprint in some typical provinces in China are also analyzed,and some ways to reduce the water footprint are bring forward in order to alleviate water scarcity.
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