# Embedded Water - Hidden Water

The average UK citizen uses approximately 150 litres of tap water every single day.  That in itself is a huge amount of water and is actually 3 times the amount recommended by development aid agencies to provide a sufficient amount for cooking, hygiene and drinking.

The biggest shock although is that we actually use approximately 3400 litres a day.  The reason for this is that every product we use every day has used a specified amount of water in its production, transport and packaging before it reaches you.

In actual fact, water for drinking only signifies 0.2% of our 3400 litre water use a day.  The following table shows the uses of the rest of our consumption:

Consumption Group Example uses Percentage of daily use
Drinking water   0.2% = 6.8 litres
Domestic uses Cooking, cleaning, etc 4.2% = 142.8 litres
Embedded in Industrial Goods Car, bicycle, TV, etc 30.6% = 1040.4 litres
Embedded in Food   65% = 2210 litres

The largest percentage of embedded water use is in food which is not surprising seeing as to produce one 150g beef burger 2400 litres of water are needed.  This figure doesn’t actually even try to embed the processing, packaging or transport of the beef but merely includes the actual production.  There are similarly large numbers for other products – a tomato takes 13 litres in it, and apple 70 litres.