Water’s worldwide travels

Scientists track the movement of ‘virtual water,’ used in the production of goods and exchanged among nations

By Stephen Ornes, 14:05 PM April 2, 2012




Water runs downhill from mountaintops to streams to rivers to oceans. But downhill isn’t the only way that water moves. A new study measures how water travels from country to country. This water moves to make foods and products. This flow isn’t the type we usually think about. But scientists have now looked at the water used to grow and make the products that get shipped from nation to nation as imports or exports. They call this a flow of “virtual water.”


We typically think about water as...

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