Water footprints of cities – indicators for sustainable consumption and production

  • H. Hoff, P. Döll, M. Fader, D. Gerten, S. Hauser, S. Siebert
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, January 2014, Copernicus GmbH
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-18-213-2014

Water footprints of cities

What is it about?

We further developed the existing water footprint methodology, by globally resolving virtual water flows from production to consumption regions for major food crops at 5 arc minutes spatial resolution. We distinguished domestic and international flows, and assessed local impacts of export production.

Why is it important?

Cities are net importers of food-crop-related virtual water. When comparing total virtual water imports of the three cities Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find significant differences in: (i) contributions of different crop commodities to the total imports, (ii) the respective virtual water contents of these crops and (iii) their origin (domestic vs. international) and transport distances. Accordingly, per-capita imports of virtual water and also green and blue water fractions vary significantly.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Stefan Siebert