Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Paradox of Limited Water Resources in Iran and Goals of Self-Sufficiency in Agricultural Sector

Version 1 : Received: 8 June 2017 / Approved: 8 June 2017 / Online: 8 June 2017 (18:06:51 CEST)

How to cite: Rafiee, H.; Balovi, F. Paradox of Limited Water Resources in Iran and Goals of Self-Sufficiency in Agricultural Sector. Preprints 2017, 2017060045 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201706.0045.v1). Rafiee, H.; Balovi, F. Paradox of Limited Water Resources in Iran and Goals of Self-Sufficiency in Agricultural Sector. Preprints 2017, 2017060045 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201706.0045.v1).

Abstract

Lack of water resources in Iran, especially in recent years, has faced the agricultural sector as the most important consumer of water resources, with serious challenges. In Iran, the agricultural sector accounted for more than 90% of water consumption. However, the focus on domestic production and self-sufficiency policy in staples (wheat, barley, maize and rice) has been emphasized in general agriculture's policy. This study was conducted to estimate the imported virtual water from the imports of basic products in Iran using defined indicators during 1961-2013. Also this study investigated the possibility of achieving self-sufficiency due to the limited water resources in Iran. The results of this study showed with the increase in cereal imports, virtual water imports from 0.28 billion cubic meters in 1961 increased to 17.6 billion cubic meters in 2013 and on average about 60% of virtual water imports in strategic products is related to wheat imports during the past 53 years. Other products in cereal (barley, maize and rice) are also indicative of the general trend of increasing imports of virtual water in development plans. The estimated long-run elasticity of virtual water imports in the cereal group compared with the country's water resources also showed that with a one percent reduction in renewable water resources of the country, the virtual water import in the main cereal group will increase equivalent to 2.89 percent and the determination coefficient more than 90 percent also confirms this negative relationship. According to this result and the emphasis on the fact that renewable water resources per capita in the country is falling increasingly, it cannot be expected that domestic production could compensate for the imports of the cereal group and virtual water imports with current technology, without increasing the water productivity and without additional harm to water resources.

Subject Areas

Virtual water; Agriculture; Staples; Water resources per capita

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