Posted by: Vicki Burns | September 25, 2012

Water Conservation – How Much Are We Each Using?

The idea of the importance of conserving water is gradually gaining more credibility in Canada. Although many people still seem to think we have an unlimited supply of safe, clean water there is growing awareness creeping into our collective consciousness that maybe we’d better start paying attention to what we’re doing with water. The drought this summer in much of the mid-west USA is reminding us that something similar could happen across the Canadian Prairies. Given that we in Canada are the second highest consumer’s of water in the developed world , we have much room for improved conservation.

image of graph comparing per capita water use in Canada and 15 other countries

Canada’s High Water consumption Record

So I was very interested to see a Water Footprint Calculator put out in the National Geographic website recently. It is an easy little survey to help each one of us figure out whether we’re using more or less or about the average amount of water used by other North Americans. I was feeling quite smug about many of the things we’ve done in our household to decrease water use( low-flow toilets and showerheads, etc.) until I came to the other sections about our consumer habits and our annual travel. It’s quite amazing to learn nearly 95 percent of our water footprint is hidden in the food we eat, energy we use, and products we buy. It’s a whole other learning curve to start paying attention to the water footprint of everything we buy. However, given that the future of our species depends on an adequate supply of clean, safe water this will be a learning curve that we’ll have to have to master in the near future.

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