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Virtual water flows under projected climate, land use and population change: the case of UK feed barley and meat.

Abstract

) were associated with feed barley equivalent meat imports. While the UK barley production would be entirely green, imports of either barley or meat would result in large blue water inflows to the UK. Virtual water inflows increased across the time slices for all emissions scenarios, indicating weak effectiveness of yield or productivity gains to moderate virtual water inflows. While increase in yield and land allocated to barley production should be adaptive targets, the UK needs to take policy and strategic actions to diversify trade partners and shift imports away from countries where blue water flows can exacerbate existing or potential water stresses.

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