Virtual water..South Africa

The concept of virtual water attempts to assess trade in terms of the amount of water used in producing a commodity. Viewed through this lens, the farmers along the Orange River are exporting vast amounts of water out of a system that can ill-afford this.
Delegates on an Orange Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) field trip in September were told by the Commission’s technical task team member Peter Pyke that as water scarcity increases, so the most value possible has to be obtained from existing water supplies.
The idea is that instead of exporting virtual water out of the region (“embedded” in the boxes of juicy grapes from Viljoen’s farm), water scarce regions should instead be importing crops from water-rich areas, saving water for other uses within the region.

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