You might be wondering if water now has legs. No, not literally at least, but it sure leaves footprints from how much of it we use, pollute or recycle.

Water footprint therefore is the amount of fresh water consumed or polluted in the production and supply of the goods and services used by an individual or group of persons.

Your water footprint is the amount of water you use daily; from the ones you use directly: for bathing, cleaning, drinking etc., to 'virtual water' you use indirectly: the water utilized in the production of all the products you use in your daily life- your house, furniture, clothes, the water used to grow the food you eat. Agricultural production makes the most contribution to an individual's water footprint.

There are three types of Water Footprints:

  • Green Water Footprint

This is the quantity of rainwater needed to produce a product. It is usually associated with horticulture forestry, and agricultural products. 

  • Blue Water Footprint

This is the quantity of surface or ground water needed to completely make a product. It is relevant for water gotten from rivers, aquifers, lakes and other sources, used for domestic, industrial, and agricultural purposes. 

  • Grey Water Footprint

This is the quantity of freshwater needed to dilute the presence of pollutants in water being produced, in order to meet set purity standards for consumption. 

Why is Water Footprint Important to Note?

Our daily consumption of goods has a direct impact on the pollution and water depletion problems that are prevalent in the areas where those goods are produced. Saving water hence reduces the amount of energy used in treating, pumping and heating water, thereby reducing energy demand and preventing air pollution.

Also, as the world population increases, the availability of freshwater reduces drastically as there are limited sources of freshwater. If these sources are exhausted, the chances of man's survival becomes all the more slimmer, not to mention the animals and plants which live in or depend on freshwater for survival. 

How to Reduce Water Footprint 

How then can you join the team of 'heroes without capes' that reduce water footprint, beginning from your homes?

1) Turn off taps when not in use, for instance, when brushing your teeth.

2) Fix leaking pipes.

3) Run the washing machine or dishwasher only on full loads.

4) Use water-saving toilets.

5) Use low flow shower heads.

6) Save rain water for outdoor use.

7) Reuse and recycle water whenever possible.

8) Share this post and the knowledge of water conservation you already have with your neighbours and loved ones.

Thomas E. Cronin once said, "One person can make a difference, and every person should try." Always remember that each one can reach one that can reach one, till the Earth becomes a safer planet to dwell in.

Water Footprint Calculators

Wanna check your water footprint? Here are some calculators you can use:




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