Most of us know something about carbon footprints. In fact, some of us may have already taken measures to reduce the hypothetical size of our footprints–from walking or riding a bicycle instead of driving, to purchasing carbon credits to reduce the impact of our carbon emissions. But many of us may have never thought about our water footprint. The new website H20 Conserve allows users to calculate their water footprint and gain insights on how most people waste water and how to conserve this precious natural resource.
Despite my interest in water issues, I have never calculated my water footprint, so I decided to check out the website. According to the site, my individual water use is 1,073.25 gallons per day (yikes!). In comparison, the average American uses 1,190.5 gallons of water per day. I also learned that it takes 24 gallons of water to make a single pound of plastic, over a hundred gallons to make a pound of cotton, and that a single dripping faucet can add up to 20 gallons of water lost each day.
In addition to the interactive H20 calculator, the website also offers a list of practical water saving tips, an information guide on relevant water topics, and a glossary of important water-related terms. The site also provides links to educational resources for elementary and high school classrooms. These tools can certainly empower individuals to make water conservation part of their everyday lives.
“By allowing visitors to calculate their water footprint, including the water they use at home, the water used to produce their food, energy and household products, we hope to get people thinking about water in a whole new way,” commented Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, in a press release.
H20 Conserve is the product of collaboration among several public interest organizations committed to water conservation, including Food & Water Watch, GRACE, and The John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Photo: H20 Conserve