National Water Footprint of Thailand and Tax Simulation

  • Supawat SukhaparamateEmail author


Water shortage and water pollution problems are among the serious environmental problems facing Thailand today. A pricing scheme had been proposed as a tool for solving the problem, but it was impractical as many parts of the country still have water usage rights issues, and lack of will by the authorities to collect fees. Thus, indirect implements such as water-related taxation should be imposed. In order to choose the proper sector to tax, information on water usage and production in each sector is required. Therefore, objectives of this study are to calculate the national water footprint (NWF) of Thailand, the amount of water usage and water discharge for each production sector, and to find results of changes in production and water consumption caused by the change in water-related taxation. This study calculated the NWF by using the input-output technique, and examined which sectors are water-intensive sectors by considering the national water footprint intensity. The study found that the highest water footprint sector is agriculture with 10,649.31 million cubic meters, or about 19.92 percent of the national water footprint. Trade sector and services sector become the second and third highest share of the national water footprint respectively. The NWF intensity indicates that (1) paper industries and printing, (2) agriculture, (3) trade, (4) rubber, chemical and petroleum are high intensity sectors. The study examined several tax simulations, when all water intensive sectors were levied separately at the same rate, 1 percent of sales price. The results showed that taxation of the trade sector could save the highest amount of NWF by 0.25 percent or 131.10 million cubic meters. Moreover, imposing tax on any other water intensive sector will result in a relatively high change in output of the trade sector, because the trade sector has many linkages with other sectors. In order to lessen the effect, policy makers should spend tax revenue to subsidize efficient water use following revenue-recycling scheme.

Key words

National Water Footprint Input-Output Analysis Tax Simulation Thailand 

JEL Classification

Q56 D57 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldaya, M. M. and M. R. Llamas. 2008. Water footprint analysis for the Guadiana river basin. in Value of Water Research Report Series of UNESCO-IHE.Google Scholar
  2. Bulsink, F., A. Y. Hoekstra and M. J. Booij. 2009 The water footprint of Indonesian provinces related to the consumption of crop products in Value of Water Research Report Series of UNESCO-IHE.Google Scholar
  3. Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra. 2004. Water footprints of nations. in Value of Water Research Report Series No.16, UNESCO-IHE.Google Scholar
  4. Chapagain, A. K. and S. Orr. 2008. UK Water Footprint: The impact of the UK’s food and fibre consumption on global water resources, Volume 1, WWF-UK, Godalming, UK.Google Scholar
  5. Cheachanvibul, D. 2005. Average incremental cost pricing of water sales of Metropolitan Waterworks Authority. Master thesis, Kasetsart University, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  6. Chomtosuwan, T, 2008. Effect of pricing and tax policy on household demand for water supply and shortage of water supply in Thailand. Master thesis, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  7. Duarte, R., J. Sánchez-Chóliz and J. Bielsa. 2002. Water use in the Spanish economy: an input-output approach. Ecological Economics 43: 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Guan, D. and K. Hubacek. 2008. A new and integrated hydro-economic accounting and analytical framework for water resources: A case study for North China, Journal of Environmental Management 88 (4): 1300–1313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoekstra, A. Y. and A. K. Chapagain. 2006. The water footprints of Morocco and the Netherlands. in Value of Water Research Report Series of UNESCO-IHE.Google Scholar
  10. Kaosa-ard, M. 2001. Water Management Policy in Thailand.TDRI, Bankok.Google Scholar
  11. Koontanakulvong, S. 2006. State of Water usage in Thailand (in Thai). Water Resources System Reseach Unit, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  12. Koontanakulvong, S., P. Hoisangwan and W. Chaowivat. 2012. Thailand Water Account Report. Water Resources System Reseach Unit, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok‥Google Scholar
  13. Liu, J. and H. H. G. Savenije. 2008. Food consumption patterns and their effect on water requirement in China in Value of Water Research Report Series of UNESCO-IHE.Google Scholar
  14. Piputsitee, C., Sukharomana, S., Pongput, K., Khao-uppatum, V. and Tienseree, T. 2001. Water charge management. Thailand Research Fund, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  15. Suk-ying, N. 2003. An economic analysis of water supply pricing: A case study of Metropoitan Waterworks Authority. Master thesis, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok.Google Scholar
  16. Sutummakid, N., C. Kansuntisukmongkol and S. Sukhaparamate. 2009. Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation in Thailand: Linkage and Implications. Presented at “Economic Transition and Social Changes of Countries in Asian Sub-region“ at Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Hotel, Asoke, Bangkok on 28th–30th May, 2009Google Scholar
  17. Van Oel, P. R., M. M. Mekonnen and A. Y. Hoekstra. 2009. The external water footprint of the Netherlands: Geographically-explicit quantification and impact assessment, Ecological Economics 69(1): 82–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zhao X., B. Chen and Z. F. Yang. 2008. National water footprint in an input-output framework—A case study of China 2002. Ecological Modeling 220: 245–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Economic Policy Association (JEPA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of International DevelopmentNagoya UniversityFuro-cho Chikusa-ku Nagoya AichiJapan

Personalised recommendations