What is Virtual Water analysis?

Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati have found way for better water management policies in India through Virtual Water analysis. This study was led by IIT-Guwahati professor Anamika Barua.

Virtual Water

  • According to the professor, Virtual Water (VW) is water involved in production & trade of food & non-food commodities & services.
  • Virtual water is that “invisible” water that has been consumed in the entire lifecycle of product or service.

Virtual Water Analysis

Results obtained from study of IIT Guwahati will help in bridging knowledge governance gap to mitigate water scarcity in Virtual Water flows assessment. As per the study, states with chronic water scarcity, planning & implementation of sustainable agriculture are crucial to achieve water and food security. Study finds that, pressure on freshwater resources in water parched states can be reduced by diversifying production areas by using Virtual Water flows analysis to produce agro-climatically suitable food grains.


Concept of Virtual Water was first conceived in 1990s to understand how water-stressed countries can provide people with essential items like water-intensive products including food, clothing, and shelter.

Aim of Virtual water flows assessment

Assessment is done with the aim of inducing sustainable use which can lead to water security. It will also address the gap between science & policy on water scarcity by analysing water flows hidden in agriculture products which are moving across states in India. It can also help in framing evidence-based water policies and establishing link between hydrological-economic-institutional aspect of water scarcity.


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