The USGS Water Science School
How much water does it take to grow a hamburger?
What is the water content of things?
Water is needed to grow not only everything we eat but also to produce almost all the products we use every day. This water is either supplied by nature as precipitation and/or added by people during the growing/production process. You can't tell by the size of a product or the appearance of a food how much water was actually used to produce the item.
Use to form below to enter your guess on how much water is used to produce some common foods and products. But, please realize this whole exercise is meant to give you an estimate of how much water is needed in food and product production. It is very difficult to come up with accurate water-use numbers and the large variety of food-growing and production techniques used worldwide means that the amount of water needed can vary a huge amount depending on how and where the food is grown.
Yet another consideration is how far back do you go in the chain of production to estimate water use? For beef, some estimates only consider water for cattle to drink, while other sources may consider the water needed to grow the food that the cow eats. So, the data is meant to give you a general idea and please note the limitations and uncertainties in coming up with these estimates.
The data here were taken from two sources:
Choose how much water it takes to make/grow:
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