Water Footprint

Topics: Water, Water resources, Water crisis Pages: 2 (490 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Hundreds of small, medium and large companies’ measure manage and report their Green House Gas emissions, but very few report their water footprint. Water is as important as the air we breathe. We may be able to survive without electricity, but not without water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, an average US family of four uses about 400 gallons of water from their daily activities such as: taking shower, laundry, washing dishes and flushing the toilet [1]. This water consumption is without taking into account the water that goes into the food they consume, clothes they wear and products that are used every day. Every food and beverage we consume, clothes we wear and products we use in our day to day lives requires water to be produced, transferred and distributed. Similar to Carbon Footprint, our day to day activities contribute to the over consumption, waste and pollution of water - water footprint. Water Footprint is a measure of human’s appropriation of fresh water resources. It acts as an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or a producer, and is measured in volumes of water consumed and polluted1. Water footprint can be calculated for a process, product, consumer, group of consumers (municipality, state, and nation) and producer. Water footprint is normally measured and calculated looking at three key components of water consumed, evaporated and polluted [2]. Blue water footprint: Volume of surface or groundwater evaporated or incorporated into product Green Water Footprint: Volume of rainwater evaporated or incorporated into product Grey water footprint: Volume of fresh water used to assimilate pollutants. In measuring the water footprint, one has to look at the water use in the entire lifcycle of the product, which can be narrowed down into three stages: Production, Trade & Consumption Water Footprint assssment provides a framework for imporving the sustainability, efficiency and...
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