WITH CALIFORNIA’S WATER CRISIS all over the news recently, it may be time to include our water footprint as one of our top priorities.

Although the term “water footprint” brings to mind the time you spend in the shower every morning, the number of bubble baths you have weekly, or how often you let the tap run when you do the dishes, the calculations involved are a lot more intricate. The concept does not only include the water you use directly, it also takes into account the water that is used to produce the food you eat, the energy you use, and the water that goes into making the clothes you wear. GRACE Communications Foundation explains that “you may not drink, feel or see this virtual water, but it makes up the majority of your water footprint”.

Fresh water is vital to life and high water footprints contribute to water insecurities everywhere on the planet.

To reduce your water footprint, the solutions are easy to implement and, more often than not, obvious. Have shorter showers and forget all about baths, don’t water your lawn (or even better, forget about it all together and grow a garden instead), eat less meat, and shop at second-hand stores (animals and cotton are very water-consumptive).

According to GRACE Communications Foundation, The average American has a “water footprint” of 2,121 gallons (almost 8 thousand litres) per day, a very impressive number when one is aware of the serious water crisis the American West is and will continue to be facing. You can obtain your own average water footprint by using the calculator above. If your number seems high, you know what you need to do.

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