Our water footprint includes much more than the water we drink and use
in our homes. In fact, the bulk of our water footprint comes from the
water used to produce the goods and services we consume every day. All
the food we eat, the clothes we buy and the products we use require
water to be produced – and in some cases, in surprisingly large
quantities. So when we consume these commodities, the water used to
produce them becomes part of our water footprint.
By beginning to think and see “blue” in everything we use and consume,
the greater our ability to reduce the impact of our water footprint.
Every action we take to reduce our water footprint, both big and small,
helps to improve the overall well being of our rivers and lakes, and the
waters that sustain all life on earth.
We continue to use water beyond our means.
- The Earth has 1,386,000,000 km3 of water total but only 2.5 percent
of that is fresh water (35,029,000 km3 or 9,254,661,800 billion gallons
of fresh water).
- Less than 1 percent of the world’s fresh water (or 0.01 percent of all water) is usable in a renewable fashion.
- The average person needs a minimum of 1.3 gallons (5 liters) of
water per day to survive in a moderate climate at an average activity
level. The minimum amount of water needed for drinking, cooking,
bathing, and sanitation is 13 gallons (50 liters).
- The average person in the United States uses between 65 to 78
gallons of water (250 to 300 liters) per day for drinking, cooking,
bathing, and watering their yard. The average person in the Netherlands
uses only 27 gallons (104 liters) per day for the same tasks.
- The average person in the African nation of Gambia uses only 1.17 gallons (4.5 liters) of water per day.
A great water to find out your Water Footprint is to use a calculation tool. There are many available. The CBC have a water tool, try it here.