How Much Water for the World’s Coffee and Tea?

While waiting for your coffee to brew or your tea to steep, you might distract yourself by calculating how much water is used to produce all the coffee and tea consumed in the world in a year. Then, if you are feeling in a comparative and provocative mood, you might get in touch with the authors of this study, who came up with their own numbers:

The Water Footprint of Coffee and Tea Consumption in the Netherlands,” A.K. Chapagain [pictured here] and A.Y. Hoekstra, Ecological Economics, vol. 64, no. 1, October 15, 2007, pp. 109-118. (Thanks to investigator Diane Tranfaglia for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Twente, the Netherlands, report:

“In total, the world population requires about 140 billion cubic metres of water per year in order to be able to drink coffee and tea.”