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Drinking Beer Really Can Save Water

January 7, 2016

Because of the extensive drought, we are starting to think twice about the length of our showers and the efficiency of our water fixtures. In turn, we’re gradually becoming more aware of how much water is wasted and are willing to think outside the box to cut back. Most water-saving tips affect the direct ways we use water, but being aware of “hidden water” can prove to be most impactful. The “hidden” part includes water it takes to produce the food and beverages you consume. It actually makes up the majority of your total water footprint (the amount of water used by an individual or the amount of water use associated with a product2 ).

As it turns out, the more processed our beverages are the more water it takes to produce them. So exactly how much water do the beverages we drink require? We did the research based off of the Water Footprint Network’s reports on the global average water footprint of different beverages. We found that some drinks (coffee) take more water to produce, while others (BEER!) need less. See the results below!

5. Coffee

One cup (8 fl.oz.) of coffee = 70 gallons of water 

4. Milk


One cup (8 fl.oz.) of milk = 67 gallons of water

3. Orange Juice


One cup (8 fl.oz.) of orange juice = 66 gallons of water

2. Wine


One cup (8 fl.oz.) of wine = 57.5 gallons of water

1. BEER!


Beer is a clear winner for the lowest water footprint. To make one cup (8 fl.oz.), it takes about 19.5 gallons of water. However, be aware of your serving size! The standard pint of beer (16 fluid ounces) requires about 39 gallons of water while your typical 5 ounce glass of wine needs 36 gallons of water. Looks like we all need to drink beer.

Want to lower your water footprint even more? Check out this site to see how much water is used in other products like fresh fruit or a margherita pizza!