Washington, August 21 : A new report has suggested that the average person in the UK uses the equivalent of about 58 bathtubs full of water every day.
The report is titled "UK Water Footprint: the impact of the UK's food and fibre consumption on global water resources".
According to ENN (Environmental News Network), the report estimated that while each person in the UK drinks, hoses, flushes and washes their way through around 150 litres of mains water a day, they consume about 30 times as much in "virtual" water embedded in food, clothes and other items - the equivalent of about 58 bathtubs full of water every day.
Stuart Orr, WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) - UK's water footprint expert, said that the UK was the sixth largest importer of water in the world.
"Only 38 per cent of the UK's total water use comes from its own rivers, lakes and groundwater reserves," he said. "The rest is taken from water bodies in many countries across the world to irrigate and process food and fibre crops that people in Britain subsequently consume," he added.
"What's particularly worrying is that huge amounts of these products are grown in drier areas of the world where water resources are either already stressed or very likely to become so in the near future," said Orr.
For example, just one tomato from Morocco takes 13 litres of water to grow while the various ingredients in a cup of coffee collectively use 140 litres.
A shirt made from cotton grown in Pakistan or Uzbekistan cotton - and possibly irrigated by water from the Indus river or the rivers that feed the Aral Sea in central Asia - soaks up 2,700 litres of water.
"Most people aren't even aware that it takes massive amounts of water to grow the food and fibres we consume on top of what is used for drinking and washing and watering the lawn," said Orr.
"Therefore, it is essential that business and government identify the areas that could potentially suffer water crises and develop solutions so the environment is not overexploited to the point that people and wildlife lose out," he added.