Water security is a concept with several aspects and dimensions. We identify four such dimensions, each consisting of two complementary aspects: direct-indirect, macro-micro, technical-political, and peace-conflict. We investigate this idea with a case study focusing on one aspect along each dimension. The case analyzes the indirect role of water for food security at global scale, using quantitative spatial approach. We find such a case particularly interesting, as food production is the planet’s biggest anthropogenic water user and food security is thus in many ways interwoven to water security. We analyze where water scarcity hampers food production, and how food trade influences this interplay. We also consider how societal resilience relates to these themes, and identify regions that face particular challenges in this regard. With this we systematize the concept of water security and link it with to issues of vulnerability, resilience, and, ultimately, sustainability.