Your Water "Footprint" is Probably Bigger Than You Think


Hey Bigfoot! How big of a splash did you make today? According to some research, it was about as big as 32,911 glasses of water. As water awareness continues to grow globally with our changing climate, scientists have become more sophisticated with the way that they track water consumption. Consider the concept of “virtual water”—the idea that we can account for every gallon of water that goes into the manufacturing and consumption of a product throughout its life cycle. Thisis a shocking but enlightening way to look at the world's water use, and Jessica Carew Kraft of the new Craftsmanship Magazine has created some power infographics to get the point across.

Consider some of the numbers:

  • It takes 2,906 gallons of water to make 1 pair of jeans

  • It takes 1,857 gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef

  • It takes 160 gallons of water to make 1 cup of coffee

  • It takes 71 gallons of water to make 1 pound of bread


We are a world of water users—particularly in the food that we eat. But, there are some things that we can do to use less “virtual water” with each meal. For instance, by switching your protein from steak to eggs, subbing rice for potatoes, avoiding avocados, going easy on the beer, Kraft shows that you can drop an average dinner from 1,035.7 gallons of water to just 141.3 gallons. Something to think about that next time you buy a steak.

Check out more of Kraft’s  infographics and learn more about your own water footprint at

Image via Flickr


Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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