Multiplex analysis of U.S. water footprints

2019 Winter Cyberseminar Series

Alfonso Mejia / Pennsylvania State University
Susana Garcia / Pennsylvania State University

Talk Description

Water is required to produce nearly every product we use or consume. The concept of virtual water content of a commodity represents the water embedded or virtually present throughout any production process. It provides a way of quantifying indirect water uses, creating awareness of the impacts of our patterns of production and consumption of goods, and our dependence on spatially distributed resources. Here we demonstrate how network theory and econometric modeling can be used to analyze the complex connectivity of virtual water flows associated with the production and consumption of agricultural and industrial commodities in the U.S. at the subnational level. In addition, we show a multilayer network approach to analyze the virtual water trade network for every sector of the economy. This approach, coupled with economic input-output theory, provides the opportunity to connect regions across space and across economic sectors. With this integrated view of the network, we demonstrate the quantification of water footprint accumulated throughout the full supply chain of commodities, and how this methodology can be used to analyze network dynamics and shocks.

Note: The recording will be published at a later date due to unpublished work.

CUAHSI's 2019 Winter Cyberseminar Series: The U.S. Food Energy and Water System at the Mesoscale

Hosted by Benjamin Ruddell, Northern Arizona University

The Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) system in the United States is characterized by connections at all scales, but especially by connections at the mesoscale defined by watersheds, cities, irrigation districts, and counties. At these scales transfers of water, flows of goods and services, and socio-economic gradients form the patterns that capture most of the structure in the complete FEW system. This cyberseminar series presents the current work on the mesoscale FEW system in the U.S., including studies of its network structure, its embedded resources and footprints, its boundaries, its stakeholders, its vulnerability and resilience dynamics, and emerging data products and best practices.