Casting a wide net to see the real cost of water

11 June, 2023

Most people would assume that bottled water is more costly than water from a tap, but sustainability researcher Yoshihide Wada gently points out that this is not necessarily the case – it depends on the sources of water. In the same way, when environmentally conscious shoppers diligently buy locally produced food to minimize food miles, this may also not be the most sustainable choice, depending on where the food is produced.   

Wada, an expert in global hydrology and food security who joined KAUST’s Center for Desert Agriculture and Climate and Livability Initiative in late 2022, emphasizes the interconnectedness of food and water.

“The link between water and food is very obvious but people often do not consider it when they go to the supermarket and buy fruit or vegetables. They do not think about the water footprint and where the water used to grow their food comes from.”

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