water footprint

What is water footprint?

Water is the essential good for the survival of every human and animal being and it is necessary to preserve it and not waste it.

This is why the Water Footprint Network was created, an organization that carries out research and analyzes on how much everything we eat has a water weight, i.e. how much water is needed to produce each kg of a specific food.

The global calculation of the water footprint is given by the sum of three components:

Blue water: refers to the withdrawal of surface and groundwater intended for use for agricultural, domestic and industrial purposes. It is the quantity of fresh water that does not return downstream of the production process in the same point where it was withdrawn or returns there, but at different times;

Green water: is the volume of rainwater that does not contribute to surface runoff and mainly refers to the evaporated-transpiring water for agricultural use;

Grey water: represents the volume of polluted water, quantified as the volume of water necessary to dilute the pollutants to the point that the quality of the water returns above the quality standards.

Which foods consume most water?

In the table below we can see the indicators for some of the most consumed foods on a daily basis:

FoodKg/lt
Tomato214
Coffee18.900
Pasta1.849
Rice2.497
Olives3.015
Salad5.520
Meat (Beef)15.415

Looking at the table published on the Water footprint network web portal, we realize how much water is actually used each year and, many times, wasted due to the food we discard.

When we discard food, we must not only think about the problem of solid organic waste but also about everything that we do not see and that was used to have what we wanted to eat on the table, in this case water.

The same happens for food recalled from the market for reports of contamination. As reported by the RASFF (European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed), contamination alarms are increasing all over Europe and have a devastating ecological impact on water consumption. Think of the possibility of recall from the market of a batch of tomato sauce due to the presence of a contaminant. For every kg of product not consumed and discarded, we would have lost 214 liters of water unnecessarily.

Xnext’s effort in tracking down all contaminants and minimizing, or eliminating, the risk of recalls also serves to safeguard the environment and water, the blue gold of our planet, generating a virtuous circle of circular economy.

At the end of this little article, we suggest you to try yourself how much water consumption depends on your eating habits on the Water Footprint Network’s website. In this way you can easily understand how much do you contribute to world water consumption and how small tricks can make a difference for the environment.

Sources:

https://waterfootprint.org/en/

https://www.mite.gov.it/pagina/cose-la-water-footprint

Here there are some articles from our blog, related to the argument:

https://x-next.com/food-alerts-in-italy-the-latest-news-of-rapid-alert-system-for-food-and-feed-rasff/

https://x-next.com/xnext-fight-against-world-hunger-the-case-of-food-waste/