Plunging into Virtual Water with Jenny Kehl

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Jenny Kehl, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Water Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Lynde B. Uilhein Endowed Chair at the WATER Institute, discusses virtual water and all it entails. Jenny has studied virtual water for a long time and does a great job describing what virtual water is and why it’s important. She also offers some thoughts on how the concept of virtual water will impact issues from water rates to water conflict in the future.

Also in this episode, Reese Tisdale, President of Bluefield Research, returns with a Bluefield on Tap segment that discusses Bluefield’s latest research into capex budgets for large municipal U.S. water utilities. In identifying the spend through 2027, Reese dives into trends in the capex budgets, including regional differences and the rise of green infrastructure. It’s must listen information for anyone in the water sector.

In this session, you’ll learn about:

  • Virtual water and what it is
  • The ways we account for virtual water
  • Why Jenny prefers a certain model for virtual water accounting
  • How virtual water affects crop decisions
  • How virtual water affects manufacturing decisions
  • How virtual water plays a role in water conflict
  • How virtual water might affect utility rates

Resources and links mentioned in or relevant to this session include:

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2 thoughts on “Plunging into Virtual Water with Jenny Kehl

  1. Seth Swanson

    Does virtual water in agricultural products distinguish between irrigated and non-irrigated crops?

    1. Jenny Kehl

      Good question. Virtual water does typically distinguish between irrigated and non-irrigated, or rain-fed- crops, and it also highlight one crucial difference, which is that irrigated crops tend to have much higher virtual water content than non-irrigated crops because irrigation looses, or “costs,” a lot of virtual water due to inefficiencies, evaporation, aging infrastructure and leaks.