Sustainable Water | The water footprint visualisation of food

The global average water footprint of black tea [as we buy it in the shop] is 8860 litre/kg . For a standard cup of tea we require 3 gram of black tea, so that a cup of tea requires 27 litres of water. A standard cup of tea (250 ml) thus requires 120 equal­sized cups of water. India and China, the largest tea producing countries in the world, accounted for 51% of the global water footprint related to tea production in the period 1996-­2005.

About 18900 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kg of roasted coffee. For a standard cup of coffee (125 ml) we require 7 gram of roasted coffee, so that a cup of coffee costs 132 litres of water. The global sum of international virtual water was 3.7% of the total international virtual water flows related to trade in agricultural and industrial products in the world.

On average, apple 822 litres of water per kilo.
Apple juice costs 1140 litres of water per litre of apple juice. One glass of apple juice (200 ml) costs about 230 litres of water.

 

The global average water footprint of wheat is 1827 litre/kg. About 80% of this amount is allocated to the flour that is derived from the wheat; the rest is attributed to wheat pellets, the by­product. One kilogram of wheat gives about 790 gram of flour, so that the water footprint of wheat flour is about 1850 litre/kg. One kilogram flour gives about 1.15 kg bread, so that the water footprint of bread is 1608 litre/kg. This is a global average; the precise water footprint of bread depends on the origin of the wheat, on where and how it was grown. For example A German bread roll of 60 gram [when made with German wheat, 690 litre/kg]has a water footprint of about 40 litres. A French baguette of 300 gram [when baked with French wheat, 517 litre/kg] has a water footprint of 155 litres.

The global average water footprint of chicken meat is 4330 litre/kg. The water footprint of chicken meat is smaller than the footprints of meat from beef [15400 litre/kg], sheep [10400 litre/kg], pig [6000 litre/kg] or goat [5500 litre/kg]. The global water footprint of chicken in the period 1996­-2005 was about 11% of the total water footprint of animal production in the world [all farm animals].

The global average water footprint of beef is 15400 litres per kg. This is predominantly green water (94%). Per kilogram of product, animal products generally have a larger water footprint than crop products. The same is true when we look at the water footprint per calorie or protein. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is twenty times larger than for cereals. The global water footprint of beef production in the period 1996­-2005 was about one third of the total water footprint of animal production in the world.

The global average water footprint of milk is 1020 litres per kg. The precise water footprint of milk in each specific case will depend on the place where and the production system in which the cow is raised, and on the composition and origin of the feed. The global water footprint of dairy cattle in the period 1996-­2005 was about 470 billion m3/yr, which was 19% of the total water footprint of animal production in the world [all farm animals].

The global average water footprint of whole cow milk is about 1020 litre/kg. About 50% of this amount is allocated to the fresh unfermented cheese that is derived and the remaining to whey. 1 kilogram of whole milk gives about 95 gram of cheese, so that the water footprint of cheese is 5060 litres per kg.

The global average water footprint of barley is 1420 litre/kg. When we consider the amount of malted barley to produce beer, the water footprint of beer is 298 litre of water per litre of beer. This excludes the water footprint of other [smaller] ingredients used in the beer production process.

The global average water footprint of grapes is 610 litre/kg. One kilogram of grapes gives 0.7 litre of wine, so that the water footprint of a wine is 870 litre of water per litre of wine. In France, Italy and Spain, the largest wine producing countries in the world, the average water footprint of wine is 90, 90 and 195 litre per glass of wine, respectively. Therefore drink wine when you are there!!

References for the images:

Waterfootprint.org. “Product Water Footprint Galler.” Retrieved 13.11.12, from http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/productgallery.

References for the data:

Waterfootprint.org. “Product Water Footprint Galler.” Retrieved 13.11.12, from http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/productgallery.

Mekonnen, M. M. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2012). “A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products.” Ecosystem 15(3): 401-415.

Mekonnen, M. M. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2010). The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 47, UNESCO-IHE.

Mekonnen, M. M. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2010). The green, blue and grey water footprint of farm animals and animal products. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 48, UNESCO-IHE.

Mekonnen, M. M. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2010). “A global and high-resolution assessment of the green, blue and grey water footprint of wheat.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 14(7): 1259-1276.

Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2007). “Thewater footprint of coffee and tea consumption in the Netherlands.” Ecological Economics 64(1): 109-118.

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