Sustainable Water | The water footprint of an average American

According to a recent study by the Water Footprint Network (1), the “water footprint” of the average American is 32,911 glasses per day. 

This corresponds to 2,842 m3 of water per year [in the period 1996-2005]. The water footprint (WF) of the global average consumer was 1,385 m3∕y, whereas the average citizens in China and India have WFs of 1,071 and 1,089 m3∕y, respectively, less than half of the average American. Consumption of cereal products gives the largest contribution to the WF (27%), followed by meat (22%) and milk pro- ducts (7%).

Where does all this water come from? It’s used to produce the food we eat, clothes we wear and more.


  1. Hoekstra, A. Y. and M. M. Mekonnen (2012). The water footprint of humanity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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