Green Rice On The Ground - Photo taken in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Green Rice On The Ground in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. Image: Korakot Yachaisri / EyeEm / Getty

What does coffee production in the Campoalegre watershed, located in Colombia’s Andean region, have in common with rice production in Nong Han Lake, located in the Sakhon Nakhon province, northeast Thailand?

Coffee plantation corresponds to 24% of Campoalegre’s area, whilst almost 54% of the Nong Han locality produces rice. In 2019, the Campoalegre watershed produced 15,000 tons of coffee; the Sakhon Nakhon province produced 1.3 million tons of rice. Both activities are water-intensive: each kilogram of dry parchment coffee requires 40 litres of water; one hectare of rice cultivation requires on average 6,340 m3 of water. However, not all ‘local water’ stays local. The rice produced in the Nong Han locality is also sent to nearby provinces and international markets, leaving the watershed boundary as ‘virtual water’.

Only 5.3% of the coffee produced in the Campoalegre watershed is consumed in Colombia. They share a common narrative: water-mediated resources or teleconnections. These ‘unseen’ flows generate water-related dependencies beyond watershed boundaries; yet they are not explicitly considered in water management.

Our 60-minute session will explore these water narratives with photo-stories and interactive data. We want to hear from our audience—where does your local water go? Does it go beyond boundaries?


The session is open to all registered participants of World Water Week 2021. Register below to attend.

Register for World Water Week 2021