Posted by: Vicki Burns | March 23, 2011

Our Water Footprint – How Much Water Does it Take To Produce Our Everyday Products?

World Water Day, March 22, has stimulated great attention to many different aspects of water all over the world. One of the most amazing array of facts though, is how much water it takes to produce the everyday things we eat, drink and wear. Those of us who are working in the “water field” are calling this the water footprint. I am really astonished at the quantities of water it takes to produce even one cup of coffee – 37 gallons and 634 gallons to make one hamburger!

image of cup full of coffee beans

Coffee beans - photo credit Flickr Refracted moments

Check out this listing of food and products on the Huffington Post’s website. It really is surprising and makes me think twice about how we are going to manage in the future with the finite supply of freshwater that exists on planet earth. I’m reminded of a presentation I heard by Janine Benyus of the Biomimicry Institute. She was promoting the idea that we could learn so much from the natural world about how various life forms have developed adaptations to maximize their use of water and other essential elements. I think that kind of study will be of tremendous value to us as our thirst for water grows.


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