As the population of the MENA region rises, virtual water import is increasing, evident by striking food import figures in many of the region's countries. This is not a new development, it has long been the case that MENA countries have used the import of high water content agricultural commodities as a mechanism for covering domestic food consumption via external water. This said, as climate induced global water scarcity and population driven global water demand increase simultaneously, the MENA region's practice of importing water via agricultural commodities should gain increasing attention. The research herein quantitatively assesses MENA nations' virtual water import determinants. Virtual water import stands as a function of changing regional variables including: population and economic growth, as well as strain on domestic water resources. While virtual water import from food commodities has sustained the MENA for decades, it cannot be assumed that the region will always remain a beneficiary of global water trade. Consequently, the region represents the geographic starting point for the global discussion on the sustainability of virtual water trade practices in the changing world.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Policy

Graduation Date


Submission Date

February 2013

First Advisor

Ali, Hamid

Committee Member 1

Bremer, Jennifer

Committee Member 2

Amin, Khaled


62 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Water consumption -- Middle East.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Water consumption -- Africa, North.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to acknowledge the dedicated instruction and assistance of several professors in AUC's Public Policy and Administration Department, specifically: Dr. Hamid Ali, Dr. Jennifer Bremer, and Dr. Khaled Amin. Thank you.