How much water do you use every day? If you do not know, make a quick test provided by National Geographic and find out.
The water footprint calculator is part of the Freshwater Initiative which aims to preserve the fresh water reserves we still have on the planet.
According to the test, I use 4194 litres of water a day. In spite of scoring much lower than average, the result is rather shocking. Another test by waterfrootprint.org estimates I use 1295 litres per day, which still seems a lot. Just to make sure, I also did a third test. Waterfootprintkemira.com says my daily use is around 3300 litres per day.
How come I can use that much by myself? The answer is that I do it indirectly. Waterfootprint.org says “Your ‘indirect water footprint’ – the water consumption and pollution behind all the goods you buy – is much larger than your direct water footprint at home.” But this does not mean at all that you cannot influence it. Contrarily, it is totally up to you to reduce your daily water use. Here are seven ideas:
1) Reduce water use in your diet: Meat production, cereals and dairy are the highest cause for water use in the food industry. National Geographic says “On average, a vegan indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons (equals 2271 liters) of water per day less than a person who eats the average American diet.”
2) Reduce the water use in your house: Fix leaky faucets and save water when washing dishes or brushing your teeth.
3) Recycle bottles, plastic, etc., and use re-usable products. The less you consume, the less water is used.
4) Showers are more water efficient than taking a bath. The shorter the better.
5) Buy second-hand clothes, furniture and other things.
6) Reduce energy use: the less energy you use, the less water you waste.
7) Recycle paper and buy recycled paper.
Fresh water is important. It is very unequally distributed on our planet and it is causing large conflicts between communities and nations. It is crucial to food production, sanitary facilities and for drinking. Despite the use by humans, lakes and rivers are also the livelihood for millions of animals and plants. In short: water is the basis of life.