Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between virtual water (VW) exports and crop exchange by employing the methodology of social network analysis (SNA). This descriptive analysis gives prudence for policy-makers about both central importers and influential exporters of VW using the degree and eigenvector centrality measures. In addition, to facilitate the communications between trading partners, each of them should reach the others with the fewest number of links, so, the small world network properties could be examined. This approach is applied on the yearly average VW exports of the Nile basin countries over the period 2000–2013, and some insights for VW exchange structure are investigated. The empirical results show that all Nile basin countries do not suffer from vulnerable VW export structure. They have a stable and balanced crop export structure. Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are identified as the most influential and effective countries in exporting VW of crops. The presence of these countries is unavoidable in drawing trade policy and water management plans. While Kenya succeeded in saving a significant amount from VW export network, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia are gaining losses. Furthermore, VW export network of crops among Nile basin countries satisfies the conditions of small world effect.

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