JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1962-1973.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190912

• Resource Economics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Virtual water consumption and trade of Beijing

WEI Yi-ran1, SHAO Ling1, ZHANG Bao-gang2, XU Pei-qi1, QIN Jing-min1   

  1. 1. School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China;
    2. School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2019-03-10 Revised:2019-06-30 Online:2019-09-28 Published:2019-09-28

Abstract: As a city suffering from serious water resources shortage, Beijing is in urgent need to improve water use efficiency. Based on the method of multi-scale input-output analysis, this work calculates and analyzes the virtual water consumption and trade of Beijing in 2012, and compares the results to that of 2007. The results indicate that the consumption-based water resources use of Beijing were estimated up to 13.95 billion m3 in 2012, which were 3.89 times larger than the production-based direct water resources use (3.59 billion m3). Compared with 2007, the virtual water consumption (23.7%) grew faster than direct water use (11.8%). For all water resources related to Beijing, only 5% was from local water withdrawal, while more than 3/5 was domestically imported from other Chinese regions and about 35% was imported from foreign countries. Meanwhile, about 1/5 of these water resources was consumed to meet Beijing's local final demand, approximately 3/4 was exported to other domestic regions, and 6% was exported to other countries. Beijing changed from a net domestic virtual water importer in 2007 into a net exporter in 2012, and the net domestically exported virtual water in 2012 was 1.1 times larger than the net import in 2007. On the other hand, Beijing changed from a net international virtual water exporter in 2007 into a net importer in 2012, and the net international virtual water import (19.60 billion m3) was 837.2 times larger than the net export (0.02 billion m3) in 2007. Beijing net imported 10.36 billion m3 virtual water in 2012 (all from international trade), which has successfully avoided the over-withdrawal of local water resources. At the same time, Beijing re-exported plenty of internationally imported virtual water to other Chinese regions, which has contributed a lot to alleviate domestic water shortage pressure. In order to reduce domestic water resources use and improve water use efficiency worldwide, Beijing is suggested to strategically increase the international import of mineral, energy, construction and transportation equipment products under the consideration of energy and mineral resource supply security, and to absorb domestic excess capacity in the future.

Key words: multi-scale input-output analysis, virtual water trade, virtual water consumption, Beijing, virtual water