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Rural-Urban Food, Nutrient and Virtual Water Flows in Selected West African Cities

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Drechsel, Pay; Graefe, Sophie; Fink, Michael
Date: 2007
Agency: International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: IWMI Research Reports, no. 115
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/3690
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Urban Commons
Region: Africa
Subject(s): food supply
water quality
agriculture
water management
urbanization
Abstract: "Impacts of increasing population pressure on food demand and land and water resources have sparked interest in nutrient and water balances and flows at a range of scales. In IWMI Research Report 115, it was tried for the first time to quantify rural-urban food flows for selected cities in Ghana and Burkina Faso to analyse their dependency on food supplied from rural vs. peri-urban vs. urban farming. Both, the urban nutrient and water footprints are closely interlinked. Currently, 80-95 percent of the domestic water used and the nutrients consumed go to waste without treatment or resource recovery. The economic dimensions are significant. Options to reduce the environmental burden by closing the rural-urban water and nutrient cycles are discussed."

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