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The water footprint of Austria for different diets

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This paper analyses the Austrian water footprint of consumption (WFcons) for different diets: the current diet, a healthy diet (based upon the dietary recommendations issued by the German nutrition society, or DGE), a vegetarian diet and a combined diet between both latter diets. As in many western countries, the current Austrian diet consists of too many products from the groups sugar, crop oils, meat, animal fats, milk, milk products and eggs and not enough products from the groups cereals, rice, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. Especially the consumption of animal products accounts for high WF amounts. These diets result in a substantial reduction (range 922–1,362 l per capita per day (lcd)) of the WFcons for agricultural products, which is currently 3,655 lcd. However, the Austrian water footprint of agricultural production (WFprod = 2,066 lcd) still remains lower than even the WFcons for a vegetarian diet (2,293 lcd). As a result the country is a net virtual water importer regarding agricultural products for all analysed scenarios.

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