Estimación del volumen de agua virtual exportada en productos agrícolas. California como caso de estudio

D.T. Nguyen, D. Nolasco, A. Baquero, D. Rosso

Resumen

California es el estado con mayores ingresos por exportación de productos agrícolas en Estados Unidos. En la definición de agua exportada se contabiliza el agua contenida físicamente en los productos agrícolas cultivados y transportados fuera de una frontera geográfica, adicionalmente se incluye la evapotranspiración inducida por el riego del cultivo. Como consecuencia de las condiciones climáticas, el agua evapotranspirada se pierde y no está disponible en el ciclo hidrológico local. En el presente estudio, para la estimación del agua exportada se utilizaron datos de los 50 productos agrícolas más exportados desde California (período 2000-2012). Los resultados muestran que, en promedio, el agua exportada en productos agrícolas corresponde a 2.88×1010 m3 año-1, lo que equivale al 68.3% del agua utilizada en riego del cultivo. La mayor parte del agua exportada (67.7%) está representada en la evapotranspiración inducida por el riego del cultivo. El agua contenida físicamente en los productos agrícolas exportados se calculó en 2.32×108 m3 año-1, esto representa menos del 1% del total anual de agua utilizada en California para riego.

Palabras clave

agua exportada; agua virtual; huella hídrica; riego; estrés hídrico; cambio climático

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