Owing to the rapid development of the global economy, the demand for energy and water resources is the main global challenge in the 21st century. This article focuses on the consumption and transfer of the water resources in China’s West–East electricity transmission project. The input–output method is employed to construct a water footprint assessment model for this project. Results show that 606.4 billion kWh of electricity and 2.5 billion m3 of virtual water were transferred from the western to eastern region in 2016. Coordinated policy making the optimal use of water resources for energy generation needs to be further discussed for promoting sustainable regional development.
Keywords virtual water, West–East electricity transmission project, water resources, China, water and energy nexus