The water footprint of a person, community, company or country is the total fresh water used to produce the goods and services consumed. Created in 2002 by Arjen Hoekstra, the water footprint is one of the family of environmental footprints that help us understand how our production and consumption choices are affecting natural resources. As population grows and the standard of living increases for many people, the water footprint tells us how much water is used each and every day in all our activities, such as for producing our food and to clothe us and indicates the pressure we exert on our freshwater resources.
Wasteful consumption of fresh water is a major threat to the planet. Water resources used to produce goods and services have a global cost over which we must have a firm grip, otherwise we run the huge risk of wasting a scarce and necessary resource.
Water Footprint refers to the volume of water used to produce various products and services. Water footprint can be calculated to a product, a service, a business, a process, an individual, a country and even the world. They provide powerful insights for businesses to understand their water-related business risk, for governments to understand the role of water in their economy and water dependency, and for consumers to know how much water is hidden in the products they use. Most importantly, they help drive strategic action toward sustainable, efficient and equitable water use.
Water Footprint Calculators
There are several online water footprint calculators available to help you ascertain your water footprint. Some of these include: