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On this page we have:

Water footprint introductory reports and papers

Presentations

Infographics

Videos

Water footprint poster

Resources for schools

Resources for college students and adults

River basin game

Role play on the globalization of water management

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Water footprint introductory reports and papers

There are various publications available that can be used as supporting materials in a course on water footprints.

Comprehensive introduction

The most comprehensive treatment of the water footprint concept and methodology is provided in the Water Footprint Assessment Manual by Hoekstra, A.Y., Chapagain, A.K., Aldaya, M.M. and Mekonnen, M.M. (2011) Earthscan, UK.

The book Globalization of Water Hoekstra, A.Y. and Chapagain, A.K. (2008) Hoekstra, A.Y. and Chapagain, A.K. (2008) Blackwell Publishing, UK is the best entrance for the broader thinking behind the water footprint concept. The book also presents a number of case studies and is a rich data source.

Concise introduction

A concise and easily readable introduction of the water footprint concept is given in the article The water footprint: water in the supply chain by Hoekstra, A.Y., The Environmentalist, March 2010, issue 93.

Water footprint of commodities

We particularly recommend the following papers:

A nice introductory paper is: Hidden water in meat and dairy by Hoekstra, A.Y. (2012) Animal Frontiers, 2(2): 3-8.

Water footprint of business

As an appetizer you can start with the 2-page article The water footprint: water in the supply chain or the 3-page article Measuring your water footprint by Hoekstra, A.Y. (2008) Leading Perspectives.

Water footprints of nations

The best brief introduction to the topic of national water footprints and international virtual water trade is provided by the paper The water footprint of humanity Hoekstra, A.Y. and Mekonnen, M.M. (2012) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(9): 3232−3237.

Water scarcity

The best studies on global blue water scarcity are:

Also read our blogs on water scarcity and sustainable development.

Presentations

A comprehensive introduction to water footprints

Feel free to download these presentations for educational purposes. We do not permit commercial use.

Download a general introduction to water footprint and Water Footprint Assessment.
Download a general introduction to water footprint for schools.

Infographics

Feel free to download these infographics for any non-commercial use. Permitted for use by the media, providing credits are given. If you’re unsure, please contact us.

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Video

Feel free to show these videos for educational purposes. Note: AquaPath’s resources are available in multiple languages.

Water Footprint poster

A popular water footprint poster by Timm Kekertiz can be purchased from Red Bubble.

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Resources for schools

Feel free to download:

This presentation to introduce water footprint to school children here.

AquaPath’s 'Aquapass’ leaflet for your class here.

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Download more resources for children and teachers on the AquaPath website.

This concise introductory leaflet to the food, water and energy nexus, produced by our partner, GRACE Communications.

Water footprint menu game for school children

All of these resources can be used and shared openly, providing credit is given to Water Footprint Network.

  • Give children this menu (which can be adapted to other units). Each menu item has the “price” in liters of water per person.
  • Ask them to buy dinner for two.
  • Ask them to make “water money” with euro/dollar bills and water bottles.
  • Ask them to go shopping.
  • Ask them to tell you which items they chose.
  • Use this Excel created to calculate the game’s results.

The game rules can be adapted as you wish, but we sometimes give different amounts of “water money” to each group of children so that they learn that the water footprint is directly related to income and that is also why it changes from country to country.

Resources for college students and adults

Feel free to download:

This concise introductory leaflet to the food, water and energy nexus, produced by our partner, GRACE Communications.

River basin game

The University of Twente developed a computer-supported game that illustrates various phenomena that take place when farmers compete over water. In this game, participants are farmers who try to optimise their benefits in farming by irrigating their fields. They have enough fertile land; water is the limiting factor.

The game realistically illustrates various phenomena that take place when people use water in a river basin. Participants will learn about ‘the tragedy of the commons’ – about cooperation, free-rider behaviour and upstream-downstream effects. With whatever group you play, it’s always fun and a great learning experience.

Download full set of materials (zip-file, 2.0Mb) here.

Credits

The game was developed by Prof. A. Y. Hoekstra at the University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Role play on the globalization of water management

Together with the World Bank, the University of Twente has developed a role play in which each participant will have to improve the national water strategy of his country in a globalised world.

Water resources management cannot be seen separate from the national consumption pattern and trade. As water is used elsewhere for the production of commodities that are imported, consumers have a ´water footprint´ outside their national borders. The aim of the role play is to get hands-on experience with the links between national consumption of food, natural fibres and bio-energy from agriculture on the one hand and the use of water resources across the globe.

In the role play there are four countries that aim to develop. As a participant, you are member of the cabinet of one of those countries and responsible for meeting development objectives. But you also care about your global water footprint and about meeting environmental flow requirements in your country.

Downloads

Hand-out to participants (0.1MB)

Facilitator guide (0.1MB)

Interested in playing?

The role play is supported by an excel-model, four game boards (one for each country), water and commodity notes, role descriptions, country data sheets and a ppt-presentation for providing introduction and feedback. If you are interested in playing the game and getting the full set of materials, feel free to fill out, sign and return a free user license. If you are interested in playing the game and getting the full set of materials, sign and return a free user license. Contact us if you would like us to assist you in facilitating the game.

Are you a partner with resources to share? Please contact us.