Water is probably one of the most precious resources and vital for everyone’s everyday life. Despite this obvious fact, people use large amounts of water: drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, and almost every other physical product.
One of the most important research papers in this field is Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2004), »Water footprints of nations«, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 16, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.
Designer Timm Kekeritz created a set of infographics, visualizing parts of their research data, to make the issue of virtual water and the water footprint perceptible.
The water footprint of a person, company or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the commodities, goods and services consumed by the person, company or nation.
The idea of the water footprint is quite similar to the ecological footprint, but focussing on the use of water.