GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Tackling the water crisis in the GCC - a new proposal for demand-side management
Paper Proposal Text :
The GCC economies face worsening water security challenges over the coming decades. Dependency on external water in food imports in an era of climatic change in a rapidly changing global political economy of food trade will require new approaches to food and water management. The importance of deploying a food supply value chain framework will be highlighted. The King’s College London contribution will provide an analysis of water in global food supply chains. It will identify where efficiency gains can be made through new forms of demand-side management, which will require investments in research and infrastructure capacities. The paper will first provide an overview of food trade in an environment in markets established by competing Western vs Asian traders. Both are relevant to water scarce Middle Eastern economies. The increasing competition will be analysed between the ABCD (ADM; Bunge; Cargill and Dreyfus) and the NOWS (Noble; Olam; Wilmar and Sinar Mas) to trade and control key food commodities that have mobilized global water resources tied to agricultural land. The opportunities for Middle Eastern economies to gain leverage in these strategic space by investing sustainably in land and water resources will be reviewed. Data from the King’s College Water/Food database will be presented to contextualise opportunities for sustainable wheat production in developing countries. The tool exposes current risks as well as opportunities that could enable improved food supply chain management from the farm-level to the consumer in the GCC. It also shows how the efficiency of food supply for the GCC could be brought about thereby decreasing dependency on the global food trade political economy. The available datasets model potential climate change impacts relevant to planning and decision-making. The paper will further present insights on how supply chain management could be improved through corporate water accounting and reporting throughout food supply value chains. The suggested framework for analysis will place water at the heart of the analysis. The approach will be contrasted with the status quo in food value chain accounting, which is water blind. IT will illustrate the possible gains that could be achieved in economic, environmental and social values at all levels of food supply chains.