Did you know that the average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day? That’s a lot of water! And, unfortunately, a lot of that water is wasted.
Water is one of our most precious resources on this planet, but it’s something that we often take for granted — until there’s a shortage. That’s why it’s important for each of us to understand our water footprints and learn ways to reduce our individual water waste.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a water footprint is, how you can calculate your own, and ways that you can conserve water in your home. Let’s get started!
What Is a Water Footprint?
Your water footprint is a measure of the total amount of water that you use on a daily basis. It includes the water that you drink, as well as the water used to produce the food you eat and the products you use.
You might be surprised to learn that the majority of your water footprint actually comes from things other than drinking, cooking, and bathing. In fact, it takes quite a bit of water to produce many of the everyday items we take for granted, such as our clothes, our coffee, and even our computers.
When it comes to your personal water footprint, there are three main components:
- The direct or actual water that you use each day (i.e., from drinking, cooking, showering, running the dishwasher, etc.)
- The indirect water used to produce the food you eat
- The indirect water used to produce the things you use
To get a better understanding of your water footprint, let’s take a closer look at each of these components.
Direct Water Use
This is the water that you see and use every day, such as from drinking, washing, and doing laundry. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family uses approximately 300 gallons of direct water per day.
Indirect Water Use for Food
It takes quite a bit of water to grow our food — even more than you might think! For example, it takes about 660 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef. And growing fruits and vegetables isn’t much better. It takes about 22 gallons of water to grow one pound of carrots and 24 gallons of water to grow one pound of tomatoes.
When you add it all up, the indirect water used for food accounts for a whopping 34% of the average American’s total water footprint.
Indirect Water Use for Products
In addition to the food we eat, there are also many everyday products that require water to produce. For example, it takes about 39 gallons of water to make just one pair of jeans. And producing a single cup of coffee requires 37 gallons of water from start to finish.
Computers are another big culprit when it comes to indirect water use. In fact, it takes an estimated 12 gallons of water to produce just one computer.
When you add up all the indirect water used for products, it accounts for approximately 19% of the average American’s total water footprint.
As you can see, the majority of our water footprint comes from things other than direct use. Altogether, the indirect water used for food and products accounts for 53% of our total water footprint.
Calculating Your Water Footprint
There are many online calculators that can help you determine your personal water footprint. The Water Footprint Network has a great calculator that is simple to use and provides a detailed breakdown of your results.
To use the calculator, you will need to know:
- The number of people in your household
- Your region or country
- How often you eat certain foods (i.e., meat, dairy, vegetables)
- What types of products you use (i.e., clothes, coffee, computers)
Once you have this information, the calculator does all the work for you! In just a few minutes, you will have a detailed report of your water footprint results.
Reducing Your Water Footprint
Now that you know your water footprint, it’s time to learn how to reduce it! Here are a few simple tips:
- Eat less meat and dairy. As we learned earlier, it takes a lot of water to produce meat and dairy products. So, by eating less meat and dairy, you can significantly reduce your water footprint.
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes. By maximizing the clothes and kitchenware you clean in each load, you can run your appliances less often and save water. Bonus tip: Did you know that approximately 90% of the energy used to wash clothes comes from heating the water? So, by washing your clothes in cold water, you can save energy and reduce your carbon footprint as well!
- Take shorter showers. Showering is one of the biggest uses of water in the home. So, by taking shorter showers, you can significantly reduce your water footprint. Typically, short showers also use less water than baths.
- Fix leaks pronto. A leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day! So, it’s important to fix any leaks in your home as soon as possible. This will save a huge amount of water and help lower your utility bills.
By following these simple tips, you can make a big impact on reducing your water footprint — and help save our planet’s precious resources!
Protect the Environment and Your Wallet with The Science of Water
If you’re interested in protecting both the environment and your budget while still enjoying pure, high-quality H2O, The Science of Water can help. We can fit your home with an eco-friendly water filtration system that boasts the following benefits:
- Eliminate the need to buy wasteful, single-use water bottles that cost you money and contribute plastic to landfills
- Reduce strain from water contaminants on your plumbing and appliances so they run more efficiently and last longer
- Guarantee that everyone in your family has 24/7 access to safe, delicious drinking water
At The Science of Water, our Puronics line of filtration and water softener systems offer the highest quality of clean water for your home. We even provide you with a free water test to evaluate your home’s unique needs! Once we receive the results, we can then provide you with a no-cost recommendation and estimate about which of our whole home filtration systems is the best fit.
Just sign up for your free water test today, so you can enjoy clean water in a manner that’s cost-effective and environmentally ethical.