What does your water footprint look like? PDF Print E-mail
News - Ons Omgewing
Monday, 24 October 2016 23:11
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People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing but even more is used for growing our food and for making our clothing, cars or computers.

Gerna Clifford,Pr.Eng. (Chem), M.Eng, from the Boschkop-based West Bio-Chemical water analytical laboratory, explains that your water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services you use.

It can be measured for a single process, such as growing rice, for a product, such as a pair of jeans, for the fuel we put in our car or for an entire multi-national company. The water footprint can also tell us how much water is being consumed by a particular country – or globally – in a specific river basin or from an aquifer.

Do you know how much water was used to grow your food and to produce your clothes and the things you buy? It is a surprising amount. You may not see this ‘invisible’ water, but it accounts for most of the water you use, far more than you use from the tap.

Our use of water is not limited to kitchens, bathrooms and gardens. On a daily basis, we contribute to the consumption of large quantities of water when buying various products, from the food we eat, paper and cotton to biofuel. This way, we indirectly affect water resources throughout the world.

By measuring water footprints, we can get a clear picture of how water is used in today’s consumer society, in the same way that carbon footprints measure contributions to climate change.

For a very basic calculation of your water footprint, visit http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/personal-water-footprint-calculator/. The website also offers an extended version of the water footprint calculator.


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