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Virtual Water: Tackling the Threat to Our Planet's Most Precious Resource

Virtual Water: Tackling the Threat to Our Planet's Most Precious Resource
Tony Allan

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The groundbreaking new concept that reveals the true and hazardous extent of our everyday water consumption. How much water does it take to make a cup of coffee? The answer may shock you: 140 litres! That's the true amount of water used in growing, producing, packaging and shipping the beans you use to make your morning coffee. Your lunchtime hamburger takes 2,400 litres and that favourite pair of blue jeans a whopping 11,000 litres. In fact, all the goods we buy - from food to clothing to computers - have a water cost in the form of virtual water: the powerful new concept that reveals the hidden facts of our real water consumption. At a time when the world's resources are being used up at increasingly alarming rates what can we do to help tackle the threat to our planet's most precious resource? World water expert Tony Allan - creator of the virtual water concept - shows the way. In this stimulating and enjoyable book he exposes the real impact of our modern lifestyle and shows how we as individuals, and governments globally, can make a vital contribution to managing our water use in a more sustainable and planet-friendly way.

Author Info

Professor Tony Allan is acknowledged as a world authority on water issues and as a leading voice for sustainable water development. He advises governments and organisations around the world and received the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize in 2008 for his pioneering contributions to understanding and communicating water issues. He is Professor of Geography at King's College, University of London and is Emeritus Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


Tony Allan has made an immense contribution to freshwater stewardship. By making the issue accessible without losing its complexity, he has created space at the table for people and institutions that previously didn’t engage in water conservation. The gravity of the impending water crisis demands innovative thinking and diverse perspectives; Tony has helped unlock those for the benefit of all.
– Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International

I heartily recommend the book as essential reading as is not only informative but also fun and easy to read.
– Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid

Tony Allan is wise, infinitely knowledgeable in his field, witty, informative, persuasive –  and right! Buy this book –  buy 6 of them for Christmas / Chanuka / Kwanze / Divali or Eid presents –  especially for your water over-using friends and anyone in a position to bring about change - by the way that is all of us. 
– Margaret Catley-Carlson, UN Secretary General Advisor on Water and Sanitation


Professor Tony Allan discusses Virtual Water and explains the virtual water concept in this short video from O Eco. The video is in English, but there are Portuguese subtitles.

Angela Morelli talks about the global water footprint of humanity at a TEDx event in Oslo.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845119843
Publication Date: 07 Apr 2011
Number of Pages: 384
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 6 integrated black and white illustrations, 8 line drawings

ISBN: 9781845119836
Publication Date: 07 Apr 2011
Number of Pages: 384
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 6 integrated bw illustrations, 8 line drawings

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