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News Worldwide Water Footprints

This map displays the water footprint per inhabitant of the world's nations, created with the geomarketing software RegioGraph. The data was obtained from the Water Footprint Organization), a research institute based in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Delft University (Netherlands), the WWF and the United Nations' Institute for Water Education, the Water Footprint Organization studies the worldwide usage of water resources.

World Water Footprint in map

Dark colors are used to indicate a water usage level that exceeds the worldwide average of 1,240 cubic metres per person per year. According to the Water Footprint Organization, China has an annual per capita water usage of only 700 cubic metres, while the USA expends five times as much: around 2,500 cubic metres. Many European countries have some of the world's highest water consumption levels.

High water consumption is often linked to the export of agricultural good - for example, in Germany this accounts for 53 percent of the nation's water footprint.

The Water Footprint Organization defines the "water footprint" of a nation as follows: The water footprint varies significantly from nation to nation and is influenced by the population's usage level, climatic conditions and water usage practices in regions in which consumer goods are manufactured. Not all goods used within a given country are manufactured in that country. Consequently, a nation's water footprint consists of two components: the use of domestic water resources as well as the resources of other nations (from which products are imported).

Illustration: GfK Geomarketing.


Contact information GfK Geomarketing GmbH (email:
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information European Water News
Keyword(s) Water Footprint
Geographical coverage International
News date 03/09/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH