Scotland's industrial water use: understanding recent changes and examining the future

Allan, G. J., McGrane, S. J., Roy, G. and Baer, T. M. (2020) Scotland's industrial water use: understanding recent changes and examining the future. Environmental Science and Policy, 106, pp. 48-57. (doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.01.005)

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Future climate scenarios predict significant changes in the availability of water resources at global and regional scales. Knowledge of the possible economic consequences of this are limited by a shortage of data linking economic activity with physical water use. Matching a unique premise-level dataset to economic indicators at industrial/sector level, this paper undertakes a decomposition of changes in industrial water demand for Scotland between 2012 and 2016. Results highlight the importance of taking a sectoral approach, as changes in sectoral water intensity are significant. Furthermore, changes in the structure of the economy, i.e. a move away from water-intensive industries, highlight further reductions in overall water consumption. By considering future scenarios for Scottish water resources, this paper identifies key multi-disciplinary research challenges to address the major obstacles in developing a climate-ready water policy, which also captures the potential economic opportunities for Scotland from an awareness of the role of water in the economy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors acknowledge the assistance of Scottish Water without which this research would not be possible. The authors also acknowledge the Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (GEMM) Initiative, an international project of The Optical Society (OSA) and the American Geophysical Union. Allan, McGrane and Roy acknowledge the funding from the University of Strathclyde through the Global Engagement Fund, which enabled the authors to spend time at Stanford University, where the initial draft of the paper was produced in March/April 2018.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Roy, Professor Graeme
Authors: Allan, G. J., McGrane, S. J., Roy, G., and Baer, T. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Environmental Science and Policy
ISSN (Online):1873-6416
Published Online:30 January 2020

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