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Calculate Your Water Footprint

Calculate Your Water Footprint

Every drop counts when it comes to water conservation.

Make the most of the water you use in your home. Consider taking shorter showers. Invest in a low–flow toilet or put a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush. Turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving. Run dishwashers or laundry machines only when full. Use water left over from cooking for houseplants.

Choose landscaping plants with low water requirements. A typical lawn requires regular watering to maintain its “greenness.” Consider reducing your lawn size and replacing turf grass with native plants, shrubs, and trees that generally grow well without a lot of excess watering.

Eat foods that require less water to produce. The amount of water used to produce animal products and processed foods like soda and chips far exceeds the amount used for growing vegetables and grains. When grocery shopping, try to buy more whole foods like vegetables that are in season, and a variety of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Patronize businesses with sound water conservation practices. Many services you enjoy consume water unnecessarily. For instance, find out if any of your local car wash establishments recycle their wash water, and give your business to the one with the best water conservation practices.

Carry a refillable water container rather than buying bottled water. Production, transportation, and disposal of bottled water consume large quantities of water (and energy). You can actually conserve water by switching from the bottle to the tap.

Calculate your Water Footprint
• 1 lb plastic = 24 gallons of water
• 1 lb cotton > 100 gallons of water
• Average American = 1,189.3 gallons of water per day.

Do you know how much water you really use? Calculate your water footprint using our new online water calculator.

Food & Water Watch is an organization dedicated to the belief that the public should be able to count on our government to oversee and protect the quality and safety of food and water. For more information, go to www.foodandwaterwatch.org.

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57 comments

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2:18AM PST on Feb 10, 2014

I think the online calculator is not totally right.It gives too little room .
I do not shower every day but 2 times a week +one bath.I wash myself completely at the sink which is perfectly doable this between shower or bath day.Years ago when I was little and a teenager,normally we took a bath once a week or twice but Always washed at the sink.It is perfectly doable unless you are terribly dirty or smelling like a dead fish.
I think the sink wash should be considered again and ban constant showering.I can understand when you work heavy jobs,in the construction/as a nurse spending a day among germs of some sort, that you shower after work.Also a sweater can be worn 2 or 3 times over a blouse or T shirt.I also reuse plastic as oftn as possible.NO to tuperware,but use the plastic containers often used buying foods.EX Ice cream plastic containers etc...Have a nice day!

11:14PM PDT on May 31, 2011

thankyou for raising awareness i will take your advice and im sure many other people will as well!

10:00AM PDT on May 30, 2011

As I don't live in the US I was re-directed to www.waterfootprint.org (which also seems to cover the US). It was really interesting and also more than a little bit surprising. Well worth a visit.

11:31AM PDT on May 28, 2011

noted.

9:23AM PDT on May 28, 2011

thanks for sharing

4:09AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely be passing this along. :)

8:01AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

Wow, living in an apartment with roommates who don't care is killing my footprint.

5:58AM PST on Mar 9, 2011

I tried the online water calculator and it said I use over a thousand gallons a day. I don't have running water in my house. I collect rainwater for all of my needs. I use a composting toilet system, wash 4 loads of laundry a month at the laundromat, wash my car about once a month.
How could I possibly use over a thousand gallons a day? I don't think the calculator works very well.

8:19AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Google bio-sand filters. They can be set up almost anywhere--costs very little to set up. Can be done with a couple 50-gal drums or trash cans or 5-gal buckets, some PVC pipe and sand. Widely used in 3rd world countries or disaster areas.

7:33AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

It must be known exactly what contaminant(s) makes the water non-potable. Some people believe that the filter built into the refrigerator will solve any water problems. That is simply not true. As Charles said, it can be as simple or as complicated AS NEEDED. Most regions offer water testing you bacterial contamination. Some offer testing for nitrates / nitrites. Unfortunately many of the water filtration companies test for other issues that convince the customer to purchase something they may not have to have. Hard water, while undesirable, does not make the water non-potable.
I am retired from the water business. I had achieved a level 6 as a certified water specialist with the Water Quality Association.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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