عنوان مقاله [English]
The national imbalance between supply and water demand is one of the most important issues of water resources management, especially in the agricultural sector. On the other hand, international exchange of agricultural products and virtual water trade, which is defined as the water embedded in goods, can be regarded as a means to manage water resources. Sugar beet is one of the products produced with high water demands and low productivity in the country. Using the Cropwat software, we calculated the amount of pure water demand and the virtual water associated to production of sugar beet, sugarcane, and the corresponding produced sugar in this study. We also investigated the virtual water exchange and its dependency on other countries. In this study, it was shown that in the case of importing sugar from other countries, about 13 billion cubic meters of water would be saved during 2005 – 2014, but, Iran would become a totally sugar importer during that period. In that period, the major origins of importing sugar were from UAE, Brazil, Switzerland, England and India. Care should be taken considering the long-term effects of virtual water import due to increasing of the country water dependency on other countries, which could be under different risks of security and climate change. The concept of virtual water trade is expected to be embedded in export/import policy making as an important issue in terms of water and food security.