May 31, 2011

Water Needs

Now that the school madness has been over for more than a month, I can finally look back and truly appreciate some of the things that I learned in the past year. For example, in the same class that we were shown these images, we were also introduced to the Water Footprint Network website. This is quite a rich yet simple enough resource for information about water consumption around the world, which is one of the environmental issues that I'm most interested in. So this past week-end I took the time to really search through the site and I found out some interesting facts about the amounts of water needed to produce many of the foods that we consume the most.

Though at times I wished that there was more detailed information - like for example the type of cheese, since I would assume that the different processes for making each cheese requires different amounts of water - I think these numbers are a good starting point to get a general idea about the global water consumption in the production of food.

I did have some preconceived ideas about which item out of two similar ones would require the most water, but a few times I was quite surprised to find out that the reality was the exact opposite of what I had thought.

I realize that the health and price factors will always come before the sustainability one but I think that taking into consideration the latter one as well whenever possible could do a world of good.

• All statistics and pictures via Water Footprint Network 

It is important to take this information with a grain of salt, and not look at the numbers simply as they are, but rather analyze them in relation to each other; for instance, opting for chicken instead of beef more often would help save a lot of water. Not only that, but deciding between the two for dinner will have a far greater impact than deciding between beer or wine. I think that this way, we will be able to slightly tweak and adapt our own consumption habits without having to make any major changes.

More such statistics and details about the numbers I mentioned can be found over here.


  1. So does this mean that it's good to drink wine and coffee because they have more water in them!? No I know it doesn't :(

    Hello, I came to read your blog through bleubird because you said you grew things from seeds, and I thought, so have I, this girl must be fun, and then I come here and you ahve lots of eco info! :) I thought I'd say hi and that I look forward to learning things as you do!

    p.s I work near an eco village in Hackbridge, London, England called BedZED.. I have not been yet, but it looks very ineteresting, thought you might like to know if you don't already, it's a good site with lots of info.

    Have a green day!


  2. My last comment had a capatcha that said 'econvire'

    how apt!

  3. Hi Martha! Thank you so much for your kind words!

    The numbers that I mentioned here refer to the amounts of water that are needed to produce these foods, so for example for wine it includes the water that is needed to grow the grapes and then turn them into wine.

    Oh and thank you for the information about BedZED, I will definitely check it out, it sounds interesting!


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