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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 367254
Title 'Virtual Water' - Real People: Useful Concept or Prescriptive Tool?
Author(s) Warner, J.F.; Johnson, C.L.
Source Water International 32 (2007)1. - ISSN 0250-8060 - p. 63 - 77.
Department(s) Irrigation and Water Engineering
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2007
Abstract The 'virtual water' thesis is beginning to take centre stage in the water security global discourse. From its origins as a conceptual tool for countering the gloomy Malthusian ('water scarcity leads to water wars') argument, it is now increasingly seen as a serious prescriptive tool for the redistribution of water from water-rich to water-poor regions of the world. The authors interrogate the thesis from apolitical economy and sustainable livelihoods perspective, arguing that the indiscriminate use of 'virtual water' as a prescriptive tool has important implications for the security, vulnerability and livelihood strategies of actors within nation-states. Adopting such an approach could turn what is a highly illuminating analytical concept - 'virtual water' - into a deleterious policy instrument. The water may very well be characterised as 'virtual' but the people and politics are very 'real'.
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