Ecumenical Water Network

The EWN is a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people's access to water around the world

You are here: Home / Get involved / The Virtual Water Cube

The Virtual Water Cube

Do you know how many potatoes can be produced using 1 cubic meter of water? Or how much rice, beef, chicken, or coffee we can produce instead? Virtual water is the water that is needed to provide the different goods and services we consume every day.

Do you know how many potatoes can be produced using 1 cubic meter of water? Or how much rice, beef, chicken, or coffee we can produce instead?

Virtual water is the water that is needed to provide the different goods and services we consume every day.

While the water we use directly for cooking, bathing, flushing the toilet etc. usually stems from water sources in our home region, food and goods are often in parts or completely produced abroad. Our consumption therefore influences the use and availability of water in other countries.

A "virtual water cube" exposition can help you raise awareness of the links between consumption and water use. It is simple to prepare, does not take much space, and has a great visual impact.

Step 1:

Download the factsheet on virtual water and learn more at www.waterfootprint.org where you can also calculate your individual water footprint.

Step 2:

Find out about opportunities for a water cube exposition in your congregation, school, clubs etc.

Step 3:

Build the water cube. All you really need to do is build a frame of 1 meter x 1 meter x 1 meter. The frame symbolizes 1000 liters of water (or 1 cubic meter of water). Make sure that you use environmentally friendly materials (such as wood certified by the FSC, and non-toxic paints) if possible.

Step 4:

Prepare some explanations and background information on virtual water and global water use. You can attach them to the cube so that everybody can read them. When you think of handing out additional material, remember that already 100 sheets of paper will use up your water cube!

Step 5:

For the exposition, you display within the water cube how much of different products can be produced respectively using 1000 liters (1 m³)  of water. You can find labels for the products here. Try to make sure that as much as possible of what you display can be used again after the exposition is over.

Step 6:

Let us and others know about your virtual water cube exposition! Send us an e-mail.