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New estimates of water footprint for animal products in fifteen countries of the Middle East and North Africa (2010–2016)

Mourad, Roya, Jaafar, Hadi H., Daghir, Nuhad
Water resources and industry 2019 v.22 pp. 100113
animal production, beef, feed grains, industry, sheep, virtual water, water policy, water resources, Middle East, Northern Africa
The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is one of the most water-scarce worldwide. Up-to-date estimates of the origin and types of water use in various industries are necessary to manage water resources and guide food and water policies. The objective of this study is to determine new estimates for the color-coded water footprint (WF). Using the Water Footprint Network approach, country-specific blue, green and grey WFs and total virtual water were calculated for 2010–2016 using recent production data. We find that animal production in MENA increased by 50% as compared to the previous decade. Virtual water consumption account for more than 80 billion m3 annually, mostly for beef (61%), followed by broilers (20%), and sheep (17%). 40% of which is local. Almost 50% of the feed grains used in the region are produced locally, accounting for 40% of the total WF for animal production in MENA.