Water resources are unequally distributed across space, and water scarcity may lead to severe social, economic and environmental issues such as food insecurity, social conflicts, and land degradation. Countries such as the UK, which increasingly rely on imports, impose more and more pressures on foreign water resources. In this study, we find that more than 80% of the water use associated with the UK’s consumption water footprint takes place in other countries. The UK’s foreign water footprint (WF) of 126 billion cubic meters (m3) is five times its domestic WF (25 billion m3). Our results show that there is a strong relationship between water footprints and per capita income, which implies that wealth and associated lifestyles are important determinants for the water footprint.