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Water Scarcity Risk for the Global Trade Network


This project aims at evaluating risks for the global trade network posed by water scarcity. This objective will be achieved by developing and applying a probabilistic network analysis framework. Based on multi-regional input-output models, we study the world economy as a trade network in which nodes are industries in each country and links represent exchanges of goods and services between industries. Relative risks of economic losses in those industries due to local water scarcity at either the country level or river basin level are used to weight the global trade network. The weighted global trade network is analyzed using complex network analysis metrics and methods to identify "hotspots" vulnerable to water scarcity risks. The results of this research will help decision-making in trade and environmental policies to mitigate water scarcity risk for industries with significantly globalized supply chains. The probabilistic network analysis framework will be generalized for broader applications to risks posed by other environmental challenges in addition to water scarcity. The project will also develop an interactive web-based visualization tool to present research results and facilitate effective teaching and learning.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Research Areas
Urban Systems and Built Environment
Water Resources