The Massive Amount Of Water Needed To Make A Chocolate Bar

As the human footprint on the earth grows with every passing second and as issues of climate and ecosystem preservation rage, many people and populations are questioning the availability of resources previously thought to be limitless. Water is one such resource. Production for many goods people enjoy (particularly food items) takes tremendous amounts of water to make and the scale of production is so large that the amount of water used is often staggering.

Chocolate is enjoyed all around the world and rightfully so; It's delicious. But it's also quite water intensive. According to Water Footprint, a 100 gram chocolate bar takes about 1700 liters of water to make. For those from the United States, this means it takes approximately 450 gallons of water to make 3.5 ounces of chocolate. There is quite a bit of the variance to the exact volume of water used and chocolate produced but these figures are the worldwide average, per Water Footprint.

Why does chocolate require so much water?

When first seeing the statistics, you might be quite alarmed at the sheer volume of water consumed and you may want to stop eating chocolate and all other cocoa products right away, but don't jump ship just yet. According to Stacker, most of the water is consumed by the cocoa tree that grows the cocoa beans, and many farms utilize the rain-heavy climates of rainforests to satisfy their thirst.

But there is still a large amount of water that is not used for the trees themselves. Per Don't Waste My Energy, one third of all water consumption from the entire chocolate production process goes not to the trees but towards transportation and storage of the cocoa. Taking this into account, Don't Waste My Energy calculates over 2.5 trillion liters (660 billion gallons) of water are used for the production of chocolate. The scale at which water is used for chocolate production is unfathomably large and very difficult to fully grasp, so — on a smaller, more manageable note — be mindful of how much water it took to make your next movie theater snack or Halloween haul.