Virtual Water

A propaganda campaign connecting our consumption patterns with the displacement of freshwater from ecosystems in arid countries exporting high water content products. The concept of Virtual Water helps us to realise the extent of our interdependence on water.

If Virtual Water becomes a trade concern then we may be able to use it as a means to improving global water efficiency, to attaining water security in water scarce nations, and to relieve stress on ecosystems that have suffered from unsustainable water governance.

Food scarcity and high death tolls are closely linked with water security and Virtual Water brings these issues closer. Because of this association, Virtual Water and its implications are controversial. Furthermore, in bringing all nations together into a global sharing of water resources Virtual Water brings to the fore, questions about the fair distribution of our water resources.

Appreciating that water consumption is hidden in absolutely everything, and that global trade really is a sharing of global water resources, enables us to optimise the use of our water resources according to social, environmental, and economic values.

The Virtual Water Project exposes our true water consumption, helps us recognise these global interdependencies, and makes us more conscious of the effects our consumption may be having to ecosystems 5000 kilometres away.

The everyday supermarket shopping experience or the lunch-tray in the canteen is transformed into a transparent learning session where, by the help of barcode technology and data visualization, a selection of participating products when scanned are converted into a rendering of facts regarding their respective Virtual Water contents.

The systemic approach reflects a profound acquired insight in the complex interdependency of the water ecosystem.

STUDENTS