What is the volume of water needed to make a Cheese Pizza (Margarita Pizza)?
To answer this question, two researchers from the University of Twente (Netherlands) used a recipe from the BBC web site explains how to make this Italian dish in four easy steps: 300 grams of wheat flour, yeast, 100 milliliters of tomato sauce, basil, garlic, 125 grams of mozzarella cheese, oil, salt, etc.
The result found is that to make this simple pizza for two people, about 1,216 liters of water are required on average.
Of the 1,216 liters of water estimated to make this pizza, only 0.2 liters are used directly in the recipe for the dought. Everything else corresponds to the volume of water needed for the production of wheat flour, tomatoes, cheese, etc.
Which of these ingredients requires the most water? By far, the mozzarella. 73% of the water footprint to make a Margarita Pizza corresponds to cheese: 890 liters.
Most of these 890 liters correspond to water required for crops needed to feed the animals (buffalo traditionally, although in the study, scientists used cows).
The concept of water footprint was created to obtain an index that relates the water with the consumption of the population. The water footprint of a country, industry, or person is defined as the volume of water needed for the production of prodcuts and services consumed by the inhabitants of this country, industry, or person.
More information about water footprint in the article: Water footprints of nations, prepared by UNESCO.