Coffee is, in dollar terms, the most important agricultural product traded in the world and producing coffee requires a lot of water. Tea is also an important trade commodity, although the trade volume in monetary units is much less than in the case of coffee.

For drinking one standard cup of coffee in the Netherlands we need about 140 litres of water, by far the largest part for growing the coffee plant. A standard cup of coffee is 125 ml, which means that we need more than 1100 drops of water for producing one drop of coffee.Total coffee consumption in the Netherlands requires a total of 2.6 billion cubic metres of water per year, which is equal to 36% of the annual Meuse flow. The Dutch people account for 2.4% of the world coffee consumption. All together, the world population requires about 110 billion cubic metres of water per year in order to be able to drink coffee. This is equivalent to 15 times the annual Meuse runoff, or 1.5 times the annual Rhine runoff.

The production of one cup of tea requires 35 litres of water in average.

Virtual water import to the Netherlands related to coffee imports. The greener the area the more the import to the Netherlands.

Publications

2007
Chapagain, A.K., and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2007) The water footprint of coffee and tea consumption in the Netherlands, Ecological Economics 64(1): 109-118.
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0.67 MB
2004
Hoekstra, A.Y. and Chapagain, A.K. (2004) 'Eén kopje koffie kost gemiddeld 140 liter water', H2O, 37 (5): 36-37.
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0.67 MB
2003  Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2003) ‘The water needed to have the Dutch drink coffee’, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 14, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.
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0.50 MB
2003  Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2003) ‘The water needed to have the Dutch drink tea’, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 15, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.
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0.40 MB

 




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