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In the agricultural system, water is mainly used for irrigation and mostly originates from rainfall. During the dry season, water is supplied from surface water or groundwater sources through canals and pipelines. The water footprints of vegetables and meat products were summarized by Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2010) as shown in Table 2. According to this data, meat products consume more water than do vegetable products.

Table 2.

Global average of water footprints (Mekonnen & Hoekstra, 2010).

Water footprint per tonne (m3/tonne)
Water footprint per unit of nutritional value
Food itemGreen waterBlue waterGrey waterTotalCalorie (litre/kcal)Protein (litre/g protein)Fat (litre/g fat)
Vegetables 194 43 85 322 1.34 26 154 
Starchy roots 327 16 43 387 0.47 31 226 
Fruits 726 147 89 962 2.09 180 348 
Cereals 1,232 228 184 1,644 0.51 21 112 
Oil crops 2,023 220 121 2,364 0.81 16 11 
Nuts 7,016 1,367 680 9,063 3.63 139 47 
Milk 863 86 72 1,020 1.82 31 33 
Eggs 2,592 244 429 3,265 2.29 29 33 
Chicken meat 3,545 313 467 4,325 3.00 34 43 
Butter 4,695 465 393 5,553 0.72 6.4 
Pig meat 4,907 459 622 5,988 2.15 57 23 
Sheep/goat meat 8,253 457 53 8,763 4.25 63 54 
Bovine meat 14,414 550 451 15,415 10.19 112 153 
Water footprint per tonne (m3/tonne)
Water footprint per unit of nutritional value
Food itemGreen waterBlue waterGrey waterTotalCalorie (litre/kcal)Protein (litre/g protein)Fat (litre/g fat)
Vegetables 194 43 85 322 1.34 26 154 
Starchy roots 327 16 43 387 0.47 31 226 
Fruits 726 147 89 962 2.09 180 348 
Cereals 1,232 228 184 1,644 0.51 21 112 
Oil crops 2,023 220 121 2,364 0.81 16 11 
Nuts 7,016 1,367 680 9,063 3.63 139 47 
Milk 863 86 72 1,020 1.82 31 33 
Eggs 2,592 244 429 3,265 2.29 29 33 
Chicken meat 3,545 313 467 4,325 3.00 34 43 
Butter 4,695 465 393 5,553 0.72 6.4 
Pig meat 4,907 459 622 5,988 2.15 57 23 
Sheep/goat meat 8,253 457 53 8,763 4.25 63 54 
Bovine meat 14,414 550 451 15,415 10.19 112 153 

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