What is the Water Footprint of…?

What is the Water Footprint of…?

How much water does it take to make food and beverages or common household items? Read on to find out.

How Much Water Does it Take to Make a Hamburger?

Here is a list of the water footprint of some common food products and consumer goods.

The list of foods reflect a typical day in a typical American diet. Many Americans eat a lot of animal products but they probably don’t realize how much water it takes to make meat and dairy products.

The common consumer products in this list are items that you might use every day; however, you might not realize that it takes a lot of water to make those products. For example, denim water use is high because cotton requires a lot of irrigation water, and smart phones take a lot of water because metals have to be mined and refined, both of which take a lot of water.

Download a [PDF] of this list.

Table 1. Food Products

Steak (beef)6 ounces674 gallons
Hamburger1 (includes bread, meat, lettuce, tomato)660 gallons
Ham (pork)3 ounces135 gallons
Eggs1 egg52 gallons
Soda17 ounces46 gallons
Coffee1 cup34 gallons
Wine1 glass34 gallons
Salad1 (includes tomato, lettuce, cucumbers21 gallons
SOURCE: Food’s Big Water Footprint

Table 2. Consumer Goods

Car13,737 – 21,926 gallons
Leather Shoes3,626 gallons
Smart phone (mobile)3,190 gallons
Bed Sheet (cotton)2,839 gallons
Jeans (cotton)2,108 gallons
T-shirt (cotton)659 gallons
SOURCE: The Hidden Water in Everyday Products

You can learn more about the water footprint of crops and animal products at the Water Footprint Network.

Find out how much water is in a typical portion of over 100 food items with the Water Footprint of Food Guide.