Facts and Figures

About 80% of global virtual water flows relate to agricultural products trade

  • Virtual water corresponds to the water content of goods and services either in the finished product or in its production.
  • The global volume of virtual water flows in commodities is 1,625 billion cubic metres a year, accounting for about 40% of total water consumption. About 80% of these virtual water flows relate to agricultural products trade, and the remainder to industrial products trade.
  • Part of the current pressure on water resources comes from increasing demands for animal feed. Meat production requires 8-10 times more water than cereal production. 

Related themes: Food and Agriculture; Water Allocation; Industry

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