As several of Ireland's top companies faced criticism for
their water consumption earlier this month, the University
of Twente in the Netherlands has launched an online water
The calculator informs consumers of the amount of water used
in the manufacture of various products, including clothes
and electrical goods.
People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing
- but even more for producing things such as food, paper,
cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint of an individual,
business or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater
that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by
the individual, business or nation, respectively.
The water footprint of a nation shows the total volume of
water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed
by the inhabitants of the nation. Since not all goods consumed
in one particular country are produced in that country, the
water footprint consists of two parts - use of domestic water
resources and use of water outside the borders of the country.
The water footprint includes both the water withdrawn from
surface and groundwater and the use of soil water (in agricultural
Some facts and figures -
- The production of one kilogram of beef requires 16 thousand
litres of water.
- To produce one cup of coffee, we need 140 litres of water.
- The water footprint of China is about 700 cubic metres
per year per capita. Only about 7% of the Chinese water
footprint falls outside China.
- Japan, with a footprint of 1150 cubic metres per year
per capita, has about 65% of its total water footprint outside
the borders of the country.
- The US water footprint is 2500 cubic metres per year per
To access the water footprint calculator - Click