Researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have published a study estimating the scale and patterns of humanity’s water consumption, or its water footprint. The study is the most detailed estimate to date.
Large-scale livestock production is a large consumer of our water resources. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)
Many everyday items contain surprisingly high water footprints—it takes 2,700 liters (713 gallons) to make a cotton t-shirt and 2,400 liters (634 gallons) to make a hamburger—so it is useful to understand issues like water use and scarcity when making consumer decisions.