An exploration of the interaction between socio-economic productivity and water withdrawal

Souha El Khanji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


The term sustainability invites interest in the main factors that affect the deterioration of natural resources. Different hypotheses have been put forward concerning the relationship between water and its effect on different economic sectors. Several questions can be asked here, for example: Does a higher water withdrawal for one sector mean that this sector is adding more to the GDP or is it a sunk cost (it is the cost that should be ignored compared to the benefit of water withdrawal for an individual economic sector) compared with the benefits to the economy? Do social factors affect water withdrawal more than economic factors or are they both impacting equally? We aim to answer these questions and to shed light on different socio-economic factors that affect water withdrawal in different economic sectors. This study investigates, in depth, the interaction between humans and the environment and can be useful in monitoring the direct effect on water withdrawal from agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and on different national economic variables that act as an indicator for economic development and growth. We used simultaneous equation models in our analysis, both the three-stage least squares and the two-stage least squares to explore the relationships. For more credibility, we run the fixed and random effects of 2SLS. Our results showed the influence of trade openness and economic growth on water withdrawal for different economic sectors, and the effect of an increasing demand for water for non-agricultural purposes, which adds pressure on the agricultural sector and eventually may lead to rising food prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-677
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • 2SLS
  • 3SLS
  • Socio-economic productivity
  • Water withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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