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What is virtual water?

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What is virtual water?

This is a very useful concept to account for our use and abuse of water, since knowing how to use and manage it efficiently is essential to achieve the SDGs and sustainability.

It was coined in 1993 by British researcher John Anthony Allan, emeritus professor at King’s College London, awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in 2008 for developing a method to calculate the water used to manufacture products.

Virtual water is the amount of water used directly and indirectly for the production of a good, product or service.

Every object around us needs many litres of water to be produced. We call this water "virtual" because it cannot be seen, yet it is present in the food, goods and services we consume every day.

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