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content it took to grow. England, Scotland and Wales, as and knowledge. Importantly, the UK, as a nation that is
water rich countries, together import between 25 and 50 part of the water-rich world, could consider economic
Billion Cubic Metres of virtual water each year without policies that develop long-term economic sustainability
considering the impact we have on the water resources of based on a sustained effort to restore the global water
others. In contrast, the water rich USA exports between environment capital we have, up to now, used for short-term
50 and 100 Billion Cubic Metres of virtual water each economic gain. Perhaps through action and commitment
year! This great discrepancy between two of the most we can assume economic and social leadership.
powerful G7 economies comes from the high level of
References
export of grains and rice to the developing world by the
Allan, J.A. (1998) Virtual water: A strategic resource, global solutions to
USA and the relatively low-level of exports from the UK
regional deficits, Groundwater 36(4), 545-546.
that have embedded water.
Hoekstra, A.Y. (ed.) (2003) Virtual water trade: Proceedings of the Inter-
In a recent audit of the sources of fresh produce in UK
national Expert Meeting on Virtual Water Trade, Delft, The Netherlands,
12-13 December 2002, Value of Water Research Report Series No.12,
supermarkets, the vast majority of popular items were
UNESCO-IHE, Delft.
imported from water scarce regions of the world (see
UNESCO (2003) Water for people, water for life: The United Nations
table below). Surely, environmental entrepreneurs can
world water development report, UNESCO Publishing, Paris / Berghahn
find economic opportunity for the UK environmental
Books, Oxford.
industry to explore and exploit water as a commodity.
UNESCO (2006) Water, a shared responsibility: The United Nations world
This new breed of ‘environmental entrepreneurs’ should water development report 2, UNESCO Publishing, Paris / Berghahn
be developed in the UK to look for market opportunities
Books, Oxford.
through a balance of trade in global environmental capital
Country of Origin Consumer Produce
Raspberries, Grapes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Radish, Lettuce, Oranges,
Spain / Portugal / Italy
Rosemary, Mint, Onions, Basil, Courgettes, Marrow, Broccoli, Pears, Plums
Sharon Fruit, Figs, Cherimoya, Persimmon, Pomelo, Mango, Dates,
Israel / West Bank
Thyme, Sage, Chives,
Bolivia / Peru / Brazil / Blueberries, Black Grapes, Avocado, Limes, Mango, Cantaloupe, Piel des
Argentina / Chile Apid, Honeydew, Brazil Nuts, Mange Tout, Asparagus, Sugar Beans
Uruguay / Costa Rica / Pineapple, Banana, Mandarin Oranges, Tangerines, Kiwi, Physalis,
Ecuador / Columbia Passion Fruit
Peaches, Onions, Butternut Squash,
USA / Mexico
Grapefruit, Walnuts, Pecans, Sweet Potatoes, Rocket Lettuce
Egypt / Morocco / Iran Salad Onion, Pistachios, Dates, String Beans, Green Beans, Runner Beans
Kenya, Mozambique Baby Corn, Mange Tout, Runner Beans, Peas, Chilli Peppers,
Red Apples, Granny Smith Apples, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Pink Lady
S. Africa
Apples
Beetroot, Cox Apples, Carrots, Onions,
Scotland and UK Potatoes, Aubergene, Spinach, Kale, Cavolo, Cabbage, Broccoli, Leeks,
Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms
ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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