Water Footprint Comparisons by Country

Water Footprint Comparisons by Country

Which country uses the most water?

Global water usage is driven by industrial and agricultural water use. While agricultural water use is the biggest water use category globally, industrial water use can be significant and varies greatly by country. The amount depends upon the volume of freshwater used to produce consumer goods like cars, plastic bottles and food. More industrialized countries use more water.

Comparison of water footprints from select countries.

Global Water Usage: How do Countries Compare?

You can find your country’s water footprint – the amount of water different countries use – on the Water Footprint Network, which provides statistics for most countries’ virtual water imports and exports and for the total water footprint of national consumption.

This chart lists the total volume of freshwater used to produce consumer goods like cars, t-shirts, plastic bottles and food – what’s also know as virtual water – on a per person basis for a variety of countries. The total volume of freshwater is a combination of the amount of water used domestically and the amount of water used internationally to manufacture those goods. The water footprints vary between countries because they’re based on consumption habits of people within each country, as well as that country’s climate and water-use practices.

CountryWater Usage (gallons/person/day)
United Arab Emirates (UAE)2,270
United States of America (USA)2,200
Canada1,687
Isreal1,687
Botswana1,485
Brazil1,466
Russian Federation1,341
Denmark1,183
Australia1,156
Germany1,032
Dominican Republic1,014
Global1,002
Colombia995
Egypt971
United Kingdom910
Republic of South Africa908
China775
Bangladesh557
Source: Water Footprint Network