The Republic of Korea is the only country classified with severe water stress among the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Additionally, the self-sufficiency rate of grain in Korea is 27%, which is 1/3 the average of OECD member countries. Because food cannot be produced without water, demand-driven water management of agricultural and livestock products applying water footprints is needed for food security. For this, this study estimates the water footprints of 42 agricultural products and three livestock products. Based on the results, the water footprint of the vegetables grown in facility such as a greenhouse is 7.9 times larger per ton than the footprint of the vegetables cultivated in the open field. Furthermore, the water footprint per ton of beef is about 4.2 times the average water footprint per ton of vegetables grown in facility. Based on the water footprint data of 45 agricultural and livestock products, the footprint of total agricultural and livestock products in 2014 is approximately 27.9% of the total domestic water resources consumed in Korea.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited