A water stress perspective on the UK’s water footprint

Allan, Grant and Lochhead, Rhona and McGrane, Scott (2023) A water stress perspective on the UK’s water footprint. Applied Economics Letters, 30 (5). pp. 649-656. ISSN 1350-4851 (https://doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2021.2009111)

[thumbnail of Allan-etal-AEL-2021-A-water-stress-perspective-on-the-UKs-water]
Text. Filename: Allan_etal_AEL_2021_A_water_stress_perspective_on_the_UKs_water.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (855kB)| Preview


The global water requirements of economic activities have been studied through the concept of the water footprint, which can be captured in multinational Input-Output (IO) frameworks. While useful for looking at aggregate requirements, this paper links the UK's blue and green water footprint with a country-level water stress index. We show that more than half of the UK's blue water footprint was in areas of high water stress, while its green water footprint is more concentrated in areas of lower water stress. These findings show how water stress can be incorporated alongside measures of water footprint. This can be critical in evaluating the success of policies aimed to improve national and international water security and reduce water stress.