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7-19 Dr. Qu Shen, School of Environment and Resources, University of Michigan: Water Scarcity Risk to the Global Trade System

  Time: July 19, 2019, 9:30-11:30 am

  Location: Main building 6F


  As an essential resource for human society, water has become increasingly “virtual” (i.e., embedded in traded products) due to international and interregional trade. An extensive literature has shown that virtual water trade has enhanced water use efficiency on the global scale, but little attention has been paid to the other side of the coin: water-related risks to the trade system. Indeed, trade has exacerbated water scarcity in some already water-stressed regions due to the underlying difficulties in water management, and climate change will only complicate the situation. To evaluate water scarcity risk to the global trade system, we develop a framework integrating risk analysis, input-output economics, and complex network analysis, using data on regional renewable water supply, sectoral water consumption, and multi-regional input-output trade structure. “Hotspot” nation-sectors, where water scarcity may cause major loss to the global trade system, are identified. Also, risks to national economic systems from foreign (physical) water scarcity are revealed and decomposed according to origins. Such analyses help decision makers such as water managers understand the broader socioeconomic impacts of water scarcity in an increasingly globalized world and may serve as a foundation for government negotiation and economic choices in relation to water scarcity risk.

  Speaker profile:

  Dr. Qu Shen is a postdoctoral fellow at the School for Environment and Sustainability of University of Michigan. His research interests include trade and environment, urban metabolism, and industrial ecology.He graduated from the Physics Department of Tsinghua University in 2009 and received his Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University in 2015. He began his career as a Dow Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. He has published more than 10 papers in SCI magazines such as Environmental Science & Technology, Global Environmental Change, and is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Cleaner Production, Resources, Conservation & Recycling.