GEOG 431
Geography of Water Resources



The final readings of this course provides background on and a rationale for having people compute their Water Footprint. There are some excellent graphics providing perspectives on how different nations use freshwater resources. The concept of virtual water is discussed and illustrated. Finally, the last chapter of the text ends with a discussion of water challenges of the future.

Required Reading

Holden (2020) - Chapter 12 - Virtual water (p. 405-425)

Holden (2020) - Chapter 13 - The future of water (p. 427-445)


Assignment 11.1 involves using the Water Footprint Assessment Tool to compute your personal (or family) usage of water (select Your Water Footprint). If you don't have a precise answer, just estimate a value. This website is also where you will access the data for investigating the water footprint for an entire country (select National Water Footprints). Remember to answer the questions about your chosen nation from the perspective of leader in a water resources agency for that country. Metric-to-English equivalents are listed below to help your translations of usage to the metric system used by the calculator.

Use the Water Footprint Assessment Tool from The Water Footprint Network to calculate water footprints. There are tools available, but this one works well and has excellent resources. I encourage you to explore their website, including case studies of calculating and discussing water footprints for products, nations, and the world.

Note: The calculator provides footprint estimates in kilograms (kg). Here are a couple of handy conversions for you:

  • there are about 2.2 lb/1 kg
  • 1 lb = 0.454 kg; for volume
  • 1 m3 = 35 ft3