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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Dec 15;573:96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.111. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Water consumption related to different diets in Mediterranean cities.

Author information

1
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Water and Marine Resources Unit, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, VA, Italy. Electronic address: davy.vanham@jrc.ec.europa.eu.
2
Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología I, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
3
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Hasan Kalyoncu University, School of Health Sciences, Gaziantep, Turkey.
4
Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel Ministry of Health, Israel.
5
Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece.
6
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Water and Marine Resources Unit, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, VA, Italy.

Abstract

Providing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) water, food and energy security to cities relies strongly on resource use outside city borders. Many modern cities have recently invested in a sustainable urban water system, and score high in international city rankings regarding water management and direct urban water use. However, these rankings generally neglect external resource use for cities. Here we quantify the water resources related to food consumption in thirteen cities located in Mediterranean countries, by means of the water footprint (WF) concept. These WFs amount from 3277l per capita per day (l/cap/d) to 5789l/cap/d. These amounts are about thirty times higher than their direct urban water use. We additionally analyse the WF of three diet scenarios, based upon a Mediterranean dietary pattern. Many authors identify the Mediterranean diet as cultural heritage, being beneficial for human health and a model for a sustainable food system. The first diet scenario, a healthy Mediterranean diet including meat, leads to WF reductions of -19% to -43%. The second diet scenario (pesco-vegetarian), leads to WF reductions of -28% to -52%. The third diet scenario (vegetarian), leads to WF reductions of -30% to -53%. In other words, if urban citizens want to save water, they need to look at their diets.

KEYWORDS:

City; Diet; Footprint; Mediterranean; Urban; Water

PMID:
27552733
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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