The Virtual Water project
'Water is probably one of the most precious resources and vital for everyone’s everyday life. In spite of this obvious fact, people use large amounts of water: drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc.
One of the most important research papers in this field is Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2004), »Water footprints of nations«, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 16, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.
Designer Timm Kekeritz created a poster, visualizing parts of their research data, to make the issue of virtual water and the water footprint perceptible.
The water footprint of a person, company or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the commodities, goods and services consumed by the person, company or nation.
The idea of the water footprint is quite similar to the ecological footprint, but focussing on the use of water'.
Based on the data gathered by Hoeckstra et al. in their study »Water Footprint of Nations« German designer Timm Kekeritz created this double-sided poster. One side visualizes the water footprint of selected nations, emphasizing the im- and export of virtual water. The other side shows the virtual water content of selected foods and commodities.
The design itself is minimalistic - using silhouettes and typography only. The fonts used are TheSans and TheSerif by Berlin-based Dutch type designer Luc(as) de Groot. The printed version also shows water drops in a shiny finish, emphasizing the virtual character of the water contained in our everyday goods.
The »Virtual Water Project« has been initiated by the lecture »Water for life« in the summer of 2007 at the Fachhochschule Potsdam (University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany). The design process has been guided by Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann and Prof. Nils Krüger.