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  • Writer's pictureHanneke Neeleman

What's my Water Footprint?

This morning I came across a very interesting site: We already know that we have a carbon footprint, but we have a water footprint too! We use directly water from our water supplier for household use and drinking water, but that is only 10% of our total water footprint! 90% is what they call 'virtual water' because everything we use, wear, buy, sell and eat takes water to make."The water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted."

"The water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use. It can be measured for a single process, such as growing rice, for a product, such as a pair of jeans, for the fuel we put in our car, or for an entire multi-national company. The water footprint can also tell us how much water is being consumed by a particular country – or globally – in a specific river basin or from an aquifer." This YouTube video from UNESCO makes this clear.

Some products use far more water than others to produce, and also the location can make a big difference. For avocados and meat we know it uses lots of water, but did you know that the production of 100 gms of chocolate requires 1700 litres of water?? Wow!!

On the website you find in the product gallery (resources, then interactive tools) more examples. You can measure your own water footprint with another interactive tool.

This is a very good website to find out about the huge amounts of water we all use!

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