Do Coffee Farms Use More Water Than They Produce?

The answer is yes, coffee farms do use water. In fact, coffee is one of the most water-intensive crops in the world. A single cup of coffee can require up to 140 liters of water to produce. This means that coffee farming can have a significant impact on the environment, especially in water-scarce regions.

Do Coffee Farms Use Water

Coffee farms do use water, but not as much as you might think. A typical coffee farm uses about 100 liters of water per kilogram of coffee produced. This is comparable to the water usage of other crops such as wheat, rice, and corn. However, coffee farms can be more water-efficient than other crops if they are managed properly. For example, drip irrigation can help to reduce water waste, and mulching can help to retain moisture in the soil.

Do Coffee Farms Use Water?

How Much Water Does Coffee Production Use?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and its production requires a significant amount of water. The amount of water used to produce a cup of coffee varies depending on the growing region, but it can range from 90 to 140 liters per cup. This makes coffee one of the most water-intensive crops in the world.

What Factors Affect Water Use in Coffee Production?

There are a number of factors that affect the amount of water used to produce coffee, including:


The climate of the growing region is a major factor in water use. Coffee is grown in tropical and subtropical regions, and the amount of rainfall varies significantly from one region to another. In general, coffee grown in wet climates uses more water than coffee grown in dry climates.


The type of soil in which coffee is grown also affects water use. Coffee grown in sandy soils uses more water than coffee grown in clay soils.


The variety of coffee grown also affects water use. Robusta coffee plants are more drought-tolerant than Arabica coffee plants, and they use less water.

Farming practices:

The farming practices used also affect water use. Coffee farms that use irrigation use more water than coffee farms that rely on rainfall.

How Can Coffee Production Be Made More Water-Efficient?

There are a number of ways to make coffee production more water-efficient, including:

Using drip irrigation:

Drip irrigation is a more efficient way to water coffee plants than flood irrigation. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of the plants, reducing evaporation and runoff.

Using mulch:

Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for irrigation.

Planting cover crops:

Cover crops help to improve soil health and water retention, reducing the need for irrigation.

Using drought-tolerant varieties:

Coffee farmers can choose to grow drought-tolerant varieties of coffee, which use less water.

Improving farming practices:

Coffee farmers can improve their farming practices to reduce water use, such as by using more efficient irrigation systems and mulching.


Coffee production is a water-intensive process, but there are a number of ways to make it more water-efficient. By using drip irrigation, mulching, cover crops, drought-tolerant varieties, and improved farming practices, coffee farmers can reduce their water use and help to protect the environment.

Also Read: Does Archer Farms Caramel Macchiato Coffee Have Dairy

FAQs about Coffee Farms and Water

How much water does it take to grow a cup of coffee?

It takes about 140 litres of water to produce one cup of coffee.

Where does the water used in coffee production come from?

Most of the water used in coffee production comes from rain, but some farms also use irrigation.

What are the environmental impacts of coffee production on water resources?

Coffee production can have a negative impact on water resources, such as through water pollution and depletion. However, there are also ways to mitigate these impacts, such as using drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting.

What are the best practices for coffee farms to use water sustainably?

Coffee farms can use water sustainably by using drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and other water conservation practices. They can also reduce their water use by planting shade trees and mulching.

What can consumers do to help coffee farms use water sustainably?

Consumers can help coffee farms use water sustainably by buying coffee that is certified by a third-party organization, such as the Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade International. These organizations ensure that coffee farms are using sustainable practices, including water conservation.

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