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What’s Your Water Footprint?

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With all the news about the drought in California, it feels like we lucked out living on the east coast. But sadly this euphoria may  just be temporary because most of the fruits and vegetables we eat here, are actually grown out there in California and they will be affected by the drought.

What we eat – our diet – makes up at least two-thirds of our total water footprint, which includes the large volume of “virtual water” needed to produce food.  You may know how many glasses of water you drink every day. But do you know how much water goes into growing the almonds you love? Your cucumbers and tomato sandwich? Your healthy avocado snacks? Or your favorite burger?

And you may not realize it but when you use energy — cooking, heating water or your house, driving a car–you are in fact using more water indirectly. How much water do you use every day?

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A new online water footprint calculator produced by the nonprofit Grace Communications Foundation helps you estimate your total water use and what you can do about it.  (The calculator is based on national averages and estimates so your results should be viewed as estimates too.)

The real value of the calculator is that it can help you use less water, which will definitely help the planet as water shortages, droughts, and changes in rainfall patterns are all increasing.resizer.php

The idea for the water footprint calculator was created by Arjen Hoekstra, a professor of water management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He founded the Water Footprint Network (WFN) in 2008.

Believe it or not, the U.S. average water footprint for typical household is 2,220 gallons of water per day!

See if you can do better.

author

Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newmanhttps://joycehnewman.wordpress.com/
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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