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Assessment of Changes in Global Domestic Water Use and Economic Value
  • Sobhan Afraz,
  • Hyungjun Kim,
  • Taikan Oki
Sobhan Afraz
The University of Tokyo
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Hyungjun Kim
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Corresponding Author:hyungjun.kim@kaist.ac.kr

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Taikan Oki
University of Tokyo
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Water scarcity is a critical global issue impacting human life. Supply-side solutions alone do not meet the ever-increasing water demands. Economic assessment of water resources can reduce water scarcity risk by managing and prioritizing demand. This study aims to estimate domestic water withdrawal (DWW) and its economic value globally from 1980–2010. To represent the economic value, consumer surplus is calculated by building a demand function for each country, based on the water price at different levels of DWW per capita (DWWC). Global domestic water withdrawal increased by a factor of 2.1 in 2010 compared to 1980, with an average annual growth rate of 2.5%, while the population increased 1.5 times during the same period. In 2010, 93-645 million people, in particular, 93-500 million of the African population, did not have access to the basic water demand. The global average of DWWC’s economic value is estimated as 2,015-4,076 USD in 2010 with a 5-6% increase from 1980 (1,909-3,884 USD). Also, it was found that, because of the low water prices, the economic values of domestic water are relatively low in some regions where water scarcity is one of the major societal problems (e.g., Middle Eastern and North African) compared to developed countries with a similar DWWC level. In such regions, toward sustainable water management, it is suggested to reconsider their policies adjusting water price and access to a fair water demand level. Therefore, the proposed framework would be beneficial for policymakers and international agencies to design sustainable water management systems.