In times of water shortage, it becomes increasingly relevant for policymakers to understand the existing relationships between different types of water use, so as to encourage efficient water management. This article makes use of yearly data on agricultural, industrial, and household water use in the Balkan countries of Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia. It does so to identify the potential interactions among these three categories of water use. Using a deterministic model based on differential equations, we provide an analysis of the interactions among these different sectors of water use for the period between 2008 and 2017. Results show that interactions among these different categories do not remain constant over periods of time, either across or within the countries analysed. We find that, for most countries, industrial and household water uses are more likely to be characterised by mutualism and competition, instead of a predator-prey relationship. Agricultural water use, on the other hand, takes on the role of predator against the other two.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Focacci, C.N. (Chiara Natalie), & Quintavalla, A. (Alberto). (2020). Unpredictable spillovers among water uses? An analysis of agricultural, industrial, and household uses of water in the Balkans. PLoS ONE, 15(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0235079