Your individual water footprint is equal to the water required to produce the goods and services consumed by you (waterfootprint.org). It's akin to one's carbon footprint, as it measures also the impact of our existence on the planet. You can visit waterfootprint.org to find out yours.
As for me, the Water Footprint Calculator, after plugging into it bits and pieces of my avergae regular water consumption, churned out the number 2,597 cubic meters. It means that I use that amount of water annually if I continue living my life the way I do now. 2,597 cu.m of water is a little more than the amount of water inside an Olympic-sized swimming pool! And mind you, I'm a biiit water-conscious as it is already. Imagine if all the people in the world spent AT LEAST an Olympic-sized-pool's-worth of water annually, we'd probably dry up before we can say Sahara Desert.
A huge part of my water consumption comes from my rather liberal intake of meat and meat products. Apparently, it takes a huge amount of water to care for cows, their pastures, etc. Maybe if I eat a lesser amount of meat, I'd be able to lessen my water footprint and thus help others have more water In The Bigger Scheme of Things...
So how do we improve our water footprint without having to stop bathing or stop brushing our teeth?
H20Conserve.org offers a simple, almost painless To-Do list to help us manage our water resources expecially in our homes. Here are some samples of their tips to become water-wise:
IN THE BATHROOM
- If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, put a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.
- Turn off the water while shaving, and instead fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.
- Spend less time in the shower. If you lose track of time in the shower, bring a radio into the bathroom and time yourself by how many songs play while you’re in there. Try to get your shower time down to one song (or less).
- If it’s yellow, let it mellow. The saying may be cliche, but it’s good advice. If you’re grossed out by the “yellow”, just put down the toilet lid.
IN THE KITCHEN
- Scrape dishes into the compost (or trash if you don`t compost) rather than rinsing. New dishwashers don’t even require pre-rinsed dishes.
- Think ahead! Don’t use water to defrost frozen foods instead, leave them in the fridge overnight to defrost.
- Boil food in as little water as possible. You just need enough to submerge your pasta and potatoes, and with less water you keep more flavor and nutrients in your veggies.
- When grocery shopping, try to buy more whole foods like vegetables, rice and potatoes. Processed foods and beverages like chips, candies, pre-made meals and sodas take a lot more water to produce than foods that come straight from the farm.
For more tips to save money, save water, and eventually save the planet, please visit H20Conserve.org.
Please don't forget also to sign the petition in support of initiatives for common efforts to provide access to safe water for those most in need.