The California drought is dominating the news. Washington and Oregon have also declared drought emergencies. The list goes on. And the water situation is not likely to get better: “water managers from 40 US states anticipate at least some form of water shortage within the next 10 years.”
It’s a sobering notion, and a reminder that our personal choices are important. Using water productively and reducing waste is vital.
The water and energy team at Grace Communications has built a Water Footprint Calculator that will help you assess your water use. It’s easy to use. Grace also accounts for something it calls virtual water: “the water it takes to produce the food we eat, the energy we use and the products we buy.” This is important, because virtual water is, by far, the largest part of our water footprint.
Some statistics from Grace:
A single avocado uses 60 gallons of water to grow
One cell phone takes 240 gallons to manufacture
It takes 713 gallons to produce one cotton t-shirt
A hamburger uses 660 gallons of water to make
One gallon of gasoline takes three-to-six gallons of water to produce
Q&A: UC’s Doug Parker on the California Drought
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