How much water is required to make a coffee? How much water is required to make a coffee?

How much water is required
to make a coffee?

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Water is becoming more and more the focus of attention as a valuable asset to be protected. Telecom Italia is also active in this respect.

Have you ever wondered how much water is required to make a cup of coffee? Very few people are aware that much more water is required than they might think.

Large amounts of water are used to make all everyday products and objects; the Water Footprint concept was created as an indicator

The Water Footprint Concept

First we need to make a distinction, which, perhaps, not everyone is aware of. Water consumption can be divided into:

  • direct consumption à water used directly in the home, at work or in industry (e.g. for washing dishes, cooking etc.)
  • indirect consumption à water used for indirect processes that require it in some way.

To better understand, we only need to ask one question: Do you know how much water is required to make an object? Not many people would be able to answer, because few people know that when calculating water consumption, the water used to produce food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. is also taken into account. The term Water Footprint refers to the calculation of freshwater consumption (direct + indirect) of an individual, a community or a company in terms of volume and time. After establishing these volumes, we can understand who pollutes less and who more. But how can we determine the level of pollution?

The Water Footprint is calculated by combining the consumption of:

  • blue water: the collection of surface and underground water for agricultural, domestic and industrial use;
  • green water: rainwater that is not runoff water but is used for agricultural, domestic and industrial use;
  • grey water: polluted water, defined as the volume of water that is required to dilute pollutants so that the quality of the water, once again, complies with quality standards

The Water Footprint therefore allows us to identify water consumption: it does not measure the pollution of the water itself but shows which type of water (blue, green or grey) is most used, allowing us to understand the seriousness of the impact on the environment.

A few numbers to think about

  • It takes 160,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef.
  • 140 litres of water are required to make one cup of coffee.
  • The water footprint of China is about 700 cubic metres per capita per year. Only 7% of the Chinese water footprint lies outside China.
  • 65% of the water footprint of Japan, 1-150 cubic metres per capita per year, lies outside national boundaries, which means that Japan has a high consumption of services and products made abroad using foreign water resources.
  • The water footprint of the USA is 2,500 cubic metres per capita per year.

As Telecom Italia also believes in the importance of providing information on the subject, it is a sponsor and partner of projects aimed at the correct use of water resources: TriesteNext, based on the theme of water in 2013, and Almanac, intended to make the city of Turin smart.