The external water footprint of the Netherlands: Quantification and impact assessment

P.R. van Oel, Mesfin Mekonnen, Arjen Ysbert Hoekstra

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This study quantifies the external water footprint of the Netherlands by partner country and import product and assesses the impact of this footprint by contrasting the geographically explicit water footprint with water scarcity in the different parts of the world. Hotspots are identified as the places where the external water footprint of Dutch consumers is significant on the one hand and where water scarcity is serious on the other hand. The study shows that Dutch consumption implies the use of water resources throughout the world, with significant impacts at specified locations. This knowledge is relevant for consumers, government and businesses when addressing the sustainability of consumer behaviour and supply chains. The results of this study can be an input to bilateral cooperation between the Netherlands and the Dutch trade partners aimed at the reduction of the negative impacts of Dutch consumption on foreign water resources. Dutch government can also engage with businesses in order to stimulate them to review the sustainability of their supply chains.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationDelft, The Netherlands
PublisherUnesco-IHE Institute for Water Education
Number of pages72
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameValue of water research report series 33
PublisherUNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education


  • METIS-247951
  • IR-59994

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