In regions, which suffer from water shortage or potential water shortage like the Middle East, water policies and different mitigation measures are formulated. Egypt is one of the states in the Middle East that have a potential water shortage. Different water management water policies have been applied in Egypt. During the past water sufficiency periods, supply management (construction of dams, water distribution networks, etc) has been applied. The continuous rise in population and consequently increasing demand for food and drinking water together with the fixed supply of water, have stimulated the need for water demand management policies. WDM policies include tools to enhance water efficiency use in the agricultural sector. This induces some economists to study the concepts of "virtual water" and "water footprint" in the process of rationalizing the use of water in the agricultural sector. In this study, a review of the Virtual Water comparative advantages and related concepts such as water footprints is conducted. Issues related to the assessment of virtual water content of commodities and water savings are reviewed. The paper focuses on how to apply the virtual water concept in the case of some major agricultural products in Egypt and assess its effect. The main purpose of this study is to determine the optimal pattern of domestic production and / or imports and exports of the most water demanding crops. The decision to import or to locally produce will be based on the comparative advantages of these products with respect to water productivity.
ElSayda Ibrahim Moustafa, Alexandria University, Egypt
Maha Asfour, Alexandria University, Egypt
Stream: Economics and Management
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