Virtual Water

Although many of the ways that we use water are obvious, much of our water use remains hidden, working behind the scenes to grow our food, to make our clothes, and to manufacture just about everything. 

Understanding the use and importance of freshwater that is embedded into these different process is essential for developing an appreciation of the many other ways we rely on, and use, water resources.

The term “virtual water” refers to the water that is used in production processes – whether for growing food, for raising livestock, or for producing cotton.  During this portion of the course, we will examine the data behind virtual water.  In doing so, we will explore estimates of virtual water for a range of items and consider the ways in which water is “transported” throughout the world in commodities.