What’s your water footprint?

What's your water footprint?

imagine all the water

We drink it, we wash in it, we depend on it beyond our wildest imaginations, but have you ever wondered what your water footprint is? Water has become a central sustainability issue with concepts such as “water footprint” and “embedded water” quickly catching up with carbon in terms of importance. 

In India, a new draft of the National Water Policy 2012, if approved, will force industrial projects to declare their water footprints. The third draft of the policy, recently recommended by the National Water Board, says analysis of water footprints should be included in project appraisal and environment impact assessment for water uses, particularly for industrial projects.

The UN is also taking steps towards water sustainability with initiatives such as the CEO Water Mandate, a public-private initiative under the UN Global Compact designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainable water policies and practices. More than 80 Global Compact participants have endorsed the initiative. One of them is Ecolab, a leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services.

Consumers can also do their bit to use water more sustainably. In Europe the website Imagine All the Water helps visitors better understand their water footprint and how our consumption habits impact our water footprint. For example, someone who drinks a lot of coffee and regularly eats meat is likely to have a much higher water footprint than a vegetarian who drinks tap water. Putting it simply, water is used a lot!

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