In my latest article on Guardian Sustainable Business, I talk about the impact water supplies could have on the viability of the coffee industry.  I found research that the ratio of water necessary to create a cup of coffee is as high as 1100 to one.  The consultancy Deloitte suggests a more conservative ratio:  37 cups of water are needed to make one cup of coffee.  Either way, coffee’s water footprint is huge.

Most of coffee’s water footprint are in the mean green bean’s cultivation.  Droughts in coffee giants like Colombia and Brazil may lead to a temporary increase in price, but the long term health of the industry is an issue that companies both large and small must address.

And they have: Starbucks has tackled the low hanging fruit (or beans) by eliminating drip wells from its stores, but that is just one sliver of the problem.  To that end, companies like Nestle and Kraft are working on projects that tackle water scarcity at the source.

Read more on The Guardian, and be sure to visit its Water Hub.

PS:  My apologies to Colombia, from the folks who work on the farms to my beloved Sofia Vergara.  You would think after writing about Colombia several times, I would get rid of that “U.” So I apologize for the typo in the Guardian.  I admit spellcheck is my greatest love and harshest downfall.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.