Risks of climate change to coffee

Grade level: 4- 5th grades

Skills: Multiplication and division

Related environmental issues: Climate change

Coffee production requires a lot of water.  To have a cup (8 ounces) of brewed coffee, as much as 70 gallons of water needs to be consumed.  Recent climate change that causes rising temperatures and droughts has badly impacted on coffee production in some regions. A farmer in Brazil, for example, lost 90 percent of his coffee crop because of long lasting drought since the end of 2015.

  1. How many ounces of water is required to produce a cup (8 ounces) of coffee? (1 gallon = 128 ounces)

  2. How many times of water is required to produce a cup (8 ounces) of coffee?

Source: Water Footprint &  NPR

*To have 125 ml of coffee, 140 L of water is required.

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Answer keys

1. 8,960 ounces (70 x 128 = 8,960)

2. 1,120 times of water (8,960 / 8 = 1,120)