Do you know how much water you use every day? Chances are you're thinking about the water that cleans your dirty dishes, flows onto your sleepy head in the shower or spins down the toilet. The truth is, though, we never even see the vast majority of the water we use.
Today, we're releasing our updated Water Footprint Calculator site to serve as a one-stop shop for water footprint information. Our deep-dive issue pages on water topics, tools and resources for educators, water news and over 100 water-saving tips can now all be found in one place: WaterCalculator.org!
Why Is My Water Footprint So Big?
We're so glad you asked! The calculator guides you through a series of simple questions about daily routines, ranging from how often you wash your laundry to how often you eat meat. At the end we provide you with a detailed breakdown of your water footprint so you can see where your water use starts to add up and learn where you can make some changes.
While it's certainly important to know how much water flows from the tap, "direct" water use is only part of the story. Most of our water use is "virtual" because it's used to produce the food you eat, the energy you use and all of the things that you buy. Virtual water is by far the biggest part of your water footprint. With virtual and direct water use combined, the typical American uses about 2,200 gallons of water per day! (Spoiler alert: The food you eat comprises the biggest portion of your water footprint.)
Why Bother Shrinking Your Water Footprint?
Water resources around the world are under a lot of pressure: population growth, increasing meat consumption, pollution and intensifying droughts and deluges brought about by climate change, to name just a few. If we all understand that even small changes can have a big impact on our water footprints, we are less likely to take water for granted.
Why the New Site?
Our Water Footprint Calculator has helped hundreds of thousands of people become better water stewards and help create a more sustainable water future.The tool has racked up its share of awards, too: the EPA Environmental Champion Award, a Webby nomination, a Graphic Design USA award - and it was even featured at The White House's first-ever Water Summit! We are committed to help as many people as we can on their quest to reduce their water use - in fact, our calculator is the only online Spanish-language version focused on the United States.
We're so excited to have now compiled all of our water footprint tools and resources together in one place to make saving water easier for everyone. Be sure to visit the calculator often as we continue to add more information about water footprints and new ideas for how to shrink yours! Collectively, we can help shape a more water conscious world.