European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

What is Your Water Footprint?

How much water do you use each year? How can you save water?

We all heard horrifying visions and statistics concerning the future of our planet. Global warming is a term found in any dictionary and recycling containers are more and more easy to find in any housing estate, shop, school and work place. Although we are bombarded with information on eco-friendly attitudes, it is still difficult to understand what impact each one of us has on environment.


So what you need to do first is to check your water footprint. Water Footprint Network makes it easy for you to check how much water you use during your everyday activities, and this way you can calculate your water footprint. Water footprint is measured in terms of direct and indirect water use by consuming goods, for the production of which water was needed. These numbers are huge. In the countries such as Rwanda, Haiti and Ethiopia, average household water consumption amounts to 15 litres. Water footprint of an average household in Poland amounts to 360–400 litres of water per day, so within a month you could easily fill in a huge water cart.


Consistent increase in water consumption can lead to other negative effects in environment, such as growth in carbon dioxide emissions and pollution of available resources. How can you decrease your water footprint?


Use a Tap

The biggest irony of bottled water is that you need more than 7 million litres of water in order to produce water bottles and send them for distribution. Instead of making the vicious circle of resource consumption running, use water filter bottles. Such a reusable bottle provides fresh water on an instance, and one bottle filter can replace 300 water bottles. You can easily filter and treat water on your own.


Buy Sensibly

Did you know that you need ca. 6800 litres of water to grow cotton to produce a pair of jeans, and 1400 litres of water to produce a T-shirt? No matter how attractive the price cut seems, another pair of jeans is not worth it. In order to produce 1 litre of bottled water, you need more than 2 litres of water -- costs of producing a bottle and transporting it. By treating water at home, using a filter carafe or bottle, you can save money and protect the environment.


Go Green

Check all the valves, hosepipes and joints for leakage, which make your waste water. Have you found a leakage? Insulate it with tape and save water. Do you want to go green? Put a big bucket in your garden and collect rainwater in it. Next use the rainwater to water your plants. This way you can save a few hundred litres of water per month.


Eat Wisely

Beef and pork consumption contributes to the use of huge amounts of water. In order to produce 1 kg of beef you need ca. 50,000 litres of water, whereas growing vegetables or fruit leaves a 1000 times smaller water footprint (ca. 55 L of water per 1 kg). Check how much water you use for individual types of food and reasonably manage the resources.


Join the discussion

Today, reducing water footprint is much easier than ever. There is no better way than propagating knowledge during discussions. Talk to your friends and family, peers and colleagues about the change you can make in your lifestyles and contribute to changing the world. Encourage others to contribute to reducing water consumption and show them how to do it.

Published: Fri, 17/05/2013 - 15:16

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