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Understanding your water footprint and how you can reduce it

Understanding your water footprint and how you can reduce it

The water footprint is a concept that has been used more frequently in recent times. Do you know the meaning of a water footprint and what it constitutes? In literal terms, it may sound like dipping one’s feet in a bucket of water and proceeding on gentle strides with a hope of leaving damp footprints along the way… unfortunately, that’s not the case.

A water footprint refers to the total volume of freshwater used in producing the goods and services consumed by an individual, community or a business.  The use of water is measured in the volume of consumption or polluted per unit of time. A water footprint can be calculated for a group of consumers at an individual, family, village, city, province or state level.  It can also be evaluated from a producer level as it looks at public organisations and private enterprises. Geographical consideration or explicit indicator is important in understanding the concept of water footprints. The consumption and pollution of water is expressed in line with the respective locations.

What is water footprint calculator and how is water consumed?

The water footprint calculates how much water is consumed in the production or in the act of doing something. The report indicates that in our daily usage of water, about 5% runs through taps, toilets and garden hoses. Approximately 95% of our water footprint is located in the food we eat, energy consumed, products we buy or services we depend on.  Our daily choices and habits dictate the volume of water we consume. On a day-to-day basis, our footprint fluctuates as a result of our diet, energy use and fixture flow rate.

Why is water footprint important?

Can you imagine life without freshwater? I can’t for the life of me. Globally, an increase in population has led to a spike on the volume of water consumed through bathing or drinking. There is an increasing demand on water resources which is a big concern for most nations. Experts predict that by the year 2030, the global demand for water will overtake supply by 40%. Also, the impact of climate change will mean a shortage of freshwater and droughts in certain nations. This makes it evident that the water footprint is important in preserving the supply of freshwater.

What can you do to reduce your water footprint?

The water footprint gives you a good indication as to how you consume water and how this impacts freshwater supply around the globe. The concept of reduce, reuse and recycle will be instrumental in aiding the reduction of your water footprint. Firstly, you can reduce your water consumption by making slight adjustments to daily activities such as taking shorter showers and replacing inefficient products like washers, toilets and nozzles. Secondly, you can reuse water in the form of rainwater for landscape irrigation which is one way to reduce our water footprint. Finally, recycling our wastewater through purification can be instrumental in the restoring of groundwater. As a business owner, it is also important to encourage employees to recycle.

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