Water Footprint

Do you know how much water you consume in your daily life?

The water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted.

The water footprint is applied to measure the total volume of fresh water used to produce goods or services consumed by individuals, organisations and nations. (arjen y. Hoekstra, 2002).

 Fresh water is known as “sweet water” in several languages

The water footprint has three components: green, blue and grey. Together, these components provide a comprehensive picture of water use by delineating the source of water consumed, either as rainfall/soil moisture (green) or surface/groundwater (blue), and the volume of fresh water required for assimilation of pollutants (grey).

Green water footprint is water from precipitation that is stored in the root zone of soil and evaporated, transpired or incorporated by plants. It is particularly relevant for agricultural, horticultural and forestry products.

Blue water footprint is water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated, incorporated into a product or taken from one body of water and returned to another, or returned at a different time. Irrigated agriculture, industry and domestic water use can each have a blue water footprint.

Grey water footprint is the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants to meet specific water quality standards. The grey water footprint considers point-source pollution discharged to a freshwater resource directly through a pipe or indirectly through runoff or leaching from the soil, impervious surfaces, or other diffuse sources.

 

Calculate your Water Footprint

 

References:

  • Water Footprint Network web site www.waterfootprint.org
  • “The Water Footprint Assessment Manual. Setting a Global Standard”, Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Ashok K. Chapagain, Maite M. Aldaya and Mesfin M. Mekonnen 2011

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