What Is Meant By Virtual Water And Water Footprint?

Water is an important part of human lives. People use lots of water for various activities in daily life, but even more for producing vital things of life as food, clothes, paper and other lifestyle products.

Water Footprint:

  • A water footprint is the amount of water in volume.
  • At an individual level, it is expressed in litres. At national level, it is referred to as the use of domestic water resources, substracting the export flows of virtual water in addition to import flows of virtual water.

Hence, the water footprint of a nation is calculated by considering the two components-

  • The company’s operations
  • The supply chain
  • The Water footprint is based on the biological requirement of water by an specific plant.
  • The water footprint is a water use indication which depends on both indirect and direct water use of a producer or consumer.
  • The water footprint of a community or business, individual is defined as the total freshwater volume which is used to produce the goods and services consumed by community and individual or produced by the business.

Example Of Water Footprint-

  • 1 Litre of milk requires 1000 litre of water.
  • 1 Kg of Rice requires 3000 litre of water.
  • 1 Kg of Wheat requires 1350 litre of water.
  • 140 Litres of water is needed to produce one cup of coffee. This means 140 litres of water is needed to cultivate, package and transport the coffee beans.

Virtual Water-

  • It is also called

    Hidden water

    , embodied water or embedded water.

  • It refers in context of trade to water used in production of goods or services.
  • Virtual water trade allows water scarcity nations to export products consuming low water and import products consuming high water. It makes water available for other purposes.

Example Of Virtual Water Content-

  • Rice contains 3000 cubic meter/ton of virtual water.
  • Wheat contains 1350 cubic meter/ton of virtual water.
  • Soybean contains 2300 cubic meter/ton of virtual water.
  • Milk contains 900 cubic meter/ton of virtual water.

When we show virtual water content of several consumption goods, we will increase the awareness for water in people.

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