Maybe you have heard of your carbon footprint. Get ready for the next big thing! Your water footprint. Stories will soon be splashing all over the headlines of a newspaper near you. Face it folks, from the second your feet touch the floor in the morning, we consume. Actually if you awoke to an alarm clock you were consuming before you even woke up!
Touted as the next big thing for conscious green thinkers to be watching in our ever endless search to be greener and less abusive to good old mother earth, the water footprint looks to be another in the endless cycles of things you need to address. Now sure we have all recycled and recycled and made the smallest of dents in our waste stream to be sure. And once we were able to feel as if we had a pretty good handle on it, some of us went on to compost and really felt proud of ourselves. Then we threw in some social issues and wrote a few checks here and there and fell back on our couches thinking, hey the world is a better place! Not so fast.
How much water do you think it takes for you to get through your day? And I am not talking about that three or four glasses you are consuming to keep your system working. Sadly, the answer is thousands of gallons. Whoa wait a minute you say in exclamation, I take long shower but thousands of gallons? Yeah, there are hidden costs to everything that you do.
In what was a very enlightening article in Mother Jones, August 2009, Josh Harkinson enlightens us all on how much water you use a day. Surprisingly, close to eight hundred gallons through your consumption of good clean food! I’m talking the good stuff too. This is water that needs to be clean, chlorinated and made healthy just to use.
Take that apple sitting on your desk, which you are going to have for a snack. Eighteen gallons of water to get it all nice and grown for you to consume. Hamburger for lunch? Six hundred and thirty-four gallons just to process the meat and that doesn’t include watering the field with irrigation to feed that plump little heifer. Starting to see the picture?
Takes just about 40,000 gallons of water to make that cute little hybrid car you’re driving around saving us all from CO2 contamination! And let’s not forget, almost 3,000 gallons of water to make the nice jeans you are wearing. Hopefully, the article and I have opened a door you need to take a better look into!
If you are wondering why this is on the verge of being such a hot topic, well you need wonder no longer. Remember all the talk about carbon –cap-and trade? Well, water is next in line to fall into this three card Monty idea of bait and switch. The idea is that if we allow one company that has excess to trade their lack of use with a company that is polluting and wasting until they can get their act together is back again. Remember the energy companies like Enron who made billions trading imaginary numbers of products, all by creating markets where people trade-in credits? Water will be no exception.
Water will one day be called the Blue Gold, and unlike the other gold, you can’t live without this one and that increases its value exponentially!