water is our most precious resource, even more precious than energy, because as it is obvious our lives could not exist without water. we drink it, we cook with it, we use water for washing ourselves and our stuff, but even more water is used for producing things that we use everyday: food, paper, clothes, and almost every other product.
one of the most important research papers in this field is chapagain, a.k. and hoekstra, a.y. (2004), water footprints of nations, value of water research report series n. 16, UNESCO-IHE, delft, the netherlands
designer timm kekeritz created a set of infographics, visualizing parts of their research data, to make the issue of virtual water and the water footprint visible. [as i already said i am a visual person!]
the water footprint of a person, company or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the commodities, goods and services consumed by the person, company or nation. the idea of the water footprint is quite similar to the ecological footprint, but focussing on the use of water.
books worth reading: the ghost map [by steven johnson tells the story of how mapping Cholera deaths in 1854 London led back to a single water pump] | cadillac desert: the american west and its disappearing water [by marc reisner tells the story of conflicts over water policy in the West and the resulting damage to the land, wildlife, and indians] | water: the fate of our most precious resource [by marq de villiers]
movies worth watching: chinatown [the classic film about the politics of water in 1930s california] |the man who fell to earth [david bowie looking for water, lots of it] | thirst [a film that tells the stories of communities in bolivia, india, and the united states that are asking fundamental questions about water, the global commons, and human rights] | water; ragedy by the ganges [the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty at a temple in the holy city of varanasi]