How much water are you eating, drinking, wearing and using? In the most recent issue of the Colorado Foundation of Water Education‘s Headwaters Magazine, journalist Rebecca Olgeirson explores the idea of a water footprint in How Big is Your Water Footprint?— read the entire article here.
From Headwaters: “It’s time to start thinking about the water embedded in a product,” says Amelia Nuding, water/energy analyst at Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates. “It’s not something most consumers think about in daily life.”
Much like the more established notion of a carbon footprint, a water footprint is less an exact science and more a conservation tool aimed at increasing consumer awareness. Developed in 2002 by Arjen Hoekstra at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, water footprinting was designed to trace the direct and indirect use of water with the intent of comparing regions across the globe.
Did you know: Denver Water estimates that 52 percent of its customers’ household water is used for outdoor watering?
How much is that lush lawn worth? For some consumers, the cash cost incurred by steeper utility rates is a deterrent. For others, the environmental is more effective. “Do we really want to take water out of our rivers to water our lawns?” asks Nuding. “Once you look at it in a water footprint context, the larger picture becomes more significant and we can see the implications of individual choices.”
Calculate your water footprint using National Geographic’s personal water footprint calculator and let us know– how big is your water footprint? Are you doing anything to cut back on personal water use? Do you think about the water used to create the products you purchase? Is there anything that the state of Colorado or your utility should be doing to make people more aware of the water we’re using?