Water & WIne: Alexandre Relvas, Fran Smit, Linda Johnson-Bell and Tiago ALves de Sousa

Water Footprint: Water Usage In Wines And Vines

The water footprint (WF) of a product is an indicator of the consumptive use of water resources along its life cycle. Water scarcity is recognized to be a major global challenge. As such, the evaluation of the WF of agro-industrial products is key, as they are widely known as having a significant footprint on water resources.

 The global average water footprint of grapes is 610 liter/kg. One kilogram of grapes results in 0.7 liter of wine, so the water footprint of wine is APPROXIMATELY 870 liters of water per liter of wine. This means that one glass of wine (125 ml) costs 110 liters (according to the Water Footprint Network). Even knowing that the vine has a capacity for survival and resilience to austere climates, as we speak, the increased production of grapes and wine, combined with droughts and climate change, mean that now, more than ever, water needs to be used efficiently. Therefore, there is the need to understand where and how can we improve water management in the wine life cycle, reduce it or even eliminate it.

This Climate Talk will address this issue and will try to identify the major challenges on the use of water throughout the grape and wine production in this warming climate. In this conversation, we will analyze the importance of efficient use of water and explore the best technologies and practices available both on the field and on the wineries. To do so, we will count with different guests from around the world. They will approach all three components of the WF: green, blue and grey, from dry farming to use of rainwater and reuse of treated wastewater.

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