Selected publications on the water footprint of meat & dairy

Most cited

Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems, 15(3): 401-415. PDF

Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2010) The green, blue and grey water footprint of farm animals and animal products, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 48, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands. Vol.1 PDF Vol.2 PDF

Data on the water footprint of different animal products, per country and per production system: XLS

Introductory publications

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2017) The water footprint of animal products. In: D'Silva, J. and Webster, J. (eds.) The meat crisis: Developing more sustainable and ethical production and consumption, Second edition, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 21-30. request copy BUY BOOK

Legesse, G., Ominski, K.H., Beauchemin, K.A., Pfister, S., Martel, M., McGeough, E.J., Hoekstra, A.Y., Kroebel, R., Cordeiro, M. and McAllister, T.A. (2017) Quantifying water use in ruminant production, Journal of Animal Science, 95(5): 2001-2018. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2015) The meat eater, a big water user. In: Soeters, K. (ed.) Meat the future: How cutting meat consumption can feed billions more, Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, pp. 87-99. request copy Traduction française: Le carnivore, ce grand consommateur d’eau PDF Deutsche Übersetzung: Der Fleischesser, ein großer Wasserverbraucher PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2014) Water for animal products: a blind spot in water policy, Environmental Research Letters, 9(9): 091003. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2013) The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society, Routledge, London, UK. Info

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2012) The hidden water resource use behind meat and dairy, Animal Frontiers, 2(2): 3-8. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2010) The water footprint of animal products. In: D'Silva, J. and Webster, J. (eds.) The meat crisis: Developing more sustainable production and consumption, Earthscan, London, UK, pp. 22-33.

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2008) The water footprint of food. In: Förare, J. (ed.) Water for food, The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas), Stockholm, Sweden, pp. 49-60. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2007) Water footprints: the water needs of people in relation to their consumption pattern. In: Trimble, S.W. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Water Science, Taylor & Francis, New York, NY, USA. PDF

Meat & dairy consumption in global context

Hoekstra, A.Y. and Mekonnen, M.M. (2012) The water footprint of humanity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(9): 3232–3237. PDF press release

Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2008) The global component of freshwater demand and supply: An assessment of virtual water flows between nations as a result of trade in agricultural and industrial products, Water International, 33(1): 19-32. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. and Chapagain, A.K. (2007) Water footprints of nations: water use by people as a function of their consumption pattern, Water Resources Management, 21(1): 35-48. PDF

Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2004) Water footprints of nations, Value of Water Research Report Series No.16, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands. Vol.1 PDF Vol.2 PDF

Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2003) Virtual water flows between nations in relation to international trade in livestock and livestock products, Value of Water Research Report Series No.13, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands. PDF

Water footprint of changing diets

Ercin, A.E. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2016) European water footprint scenarios for 2050, Water, 8(6): 226. PDF

Ercin, A.E. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2014) Water footprint scenarios for 2050: A global analysis, Environment International, 64: 71-82. PDF

Vanham, D., Hoekstra, A.Y. and Bidoglio, G. (2013) Potential water saving through changes in European diets, Environment International, 61: 45-56. PDF

Vanham, D. Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2013) The water footprint of the EU for different diets, Ecological Indicators, 32: 1-8. PDF

Ercin, A.E., Aldaya, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2012) The water footprint of soy milk and soy burger and equivalent animal products, Ecological Indicators, 18: 392-402. PDF

Country case studies

Ibidhi, R., Hoekstra A.Y., Gerbens-Leenes P.W. and Chouchane, H. (2017) Water, land and carbon footprints of sheep and chicken meat produced in Tunisia under different farming systems, Ecological Indicators, 77: 304-313. PDF

Bosire, C.K., Lannerstad, M., De Leeuw, J., Krol, M.S., Ogutu, J.O., Ochungo, P.A. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2017) Urban consumption of meat and milk and its green and blue water footprints: Patterns in the 1980s and 2000s for Nairobi, Kenya, Science of the Total Environment, 579: 786–796. PDF

Bosire, C.K., Ogutu, J.O., Said, M.Y., Krol, M.S., De Leeuw, J. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2015) Trends and spatial variation in water and land footprints of meat and milk production systems in Kenya, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 205: 36-47. PDF

De Miguel, A., Hoekstra, A.Y. and García-Calvo, E. (2015) Sustainability of the water footprint of the Spanish pork industry, Ecological Indicators, 57: 465-474. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2015) The water footprint: The relation between human consumption and water use. In: Antonelli M. and Greco F. (eds.) The water we eat: Combining virtual water and water footprints, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 35-48. PDF BUY BOOK

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2013) L’impronta idrica: uno strumento per mettere in relazione i nostri consumi con l’uso dell’acqua. In: Antonelli M., and Greco F. (eds.) L’acqua che mangiamo: Cos’è l’acqua virtuale e come la consumiamo, Edizioni Ambiente, Milan, Italy, pp. 57-71. PDF

Ercin, A.E., Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2013) Sustainability of national consumption from a water resources perspective: The case study for France, Ecological Economics, 88: 133-147. PDF

Gerbens-Leenes, P.W., Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2013) The water footprint of poultry, pork and beef: A comparative study in different countries and production systems, Water Resources and Industry, 1-2: 25-36. PDF

Ercin, A.E., Mekonnen, M.M and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2012) The water footprint of Switzerland, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 57, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands. PDF

Water footprint of fish

Pahlow, M., Van Oel, P.R., Mekonnen, M.M. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2015) Increasing pressure on freshwater resources due to terrestrial feed ingredients for aquaculture production, Science of the Total Environment, 536: 847–857. PDF

Magazine / newspaper articles

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2014) To save water, change your diet, New York Times, The Opinion Pages: Room for Debate, published 29 June 2014. link

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2011) Understanding the water footprint of factory farming, Farm Animal Voice, 180: 14-15. PDF

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2010) The water footprint: the hidden cost of our meat consumption, blog at The Ecologist link

Hoekstra, A.Y. (2010) Impronta idrica, Slow Food, 45: 50-53. PDF