Dairy products play a significant role in the human diet, but they are often associated with high freshwater resource depletion. In Italy, the dairy sector represents more than 12% of the total turnover of the agri-food sector. Trentino Alto Adige is the first Italian region in terms of number of dairy farms, but it does not register a quantitatively consistent dairy production. Notwithstanding, it is characterized mostly by small-scale farms whose strengths are the Protected Designations of Origin and typical mountain productions. The present study aims at: (i) accounting for the virtual water VW of the main dairy products (milk, butter and cheese) produced in Trentino Alto Adige; (ii) estimating the renewable water resources based on the water flow assessment of the study area; (iii) assessing water sustainability comparing the virtual water consumption of the dairy sector at a regional level to the water availability. The findings show that the consumptive virtual water related to dairy production represents about 1% of the water availability in Trentino Alto Adige. Italy’s domestic dairy production is expanding to meet the growing demand, but the expansion of dairy farming in water-stressed regions should be avoided, preferring instead suitable mountain regions where small-scale farms represent a lively entrepreneurial substrate.

Evaluation of virtual water and water sustainability of dairy production in trentino alto adige (North-eastern Italy)

Vecchio Y.;
2021

Abstract

Dairy products play a significant role in the human diet, but they are often associated with high freshwater resource depletion. In Italy, the dairy sector represents more than 12% of the total turnover of the agri-food sector. Trentino Alto Adige is the first Italian region in terms of number of dairy farms, but it does not register a quantitatively consistent dairy production. Notwithstanding, it is characterized mostly by small-scale farms whose strengths are the Protected Designations of Origin and typical mountain productions. The present study aims at: (i) accounting for the virtual water VW of the main dairy products (milk, butter and cheese) produced in Trentino Alto Adige; (ii) estimating the renewable water resources based on the water flow assessment of the study area; (iii) assessing water sustainability comparing the virtual water consumption of the dairy sector at a regional level to the water availability. The findings show that the consumptive virtual water related to dairy production represents about 1% of the water availability in Trentino Alto Adige. Italy’s domestic dairy production is expanding to meet the growing demand, but the expansion of dairy farming in water-stressed regions should be avoided, preferring instead suitable mountain regions where small-scale farms represent a lively entrepreneurial substrate.
Miglietta P.P.; De Leo F.; Coluccia B.; Vecchio Y.; Capitanio F.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
animals-11-01047.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Pdf editoriale
Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 1.34 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.34 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/819113
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact