As important as your carbon footprint is, you must not forget your water footprint. What often happens is that people focus on the water they use directly from the faucet, and don’t realize their large use of “virtual water,” or all water that goes into the food, consumer goods and energy they consume every day.
From food to fashion, soap to smartphones, the water used to produce those goods didn’t flow from the kitchen tap. Rather, the water came from all around the United States and the world, whether its field in Iowa or manufacturing plant in Bangladesh, rivers and aquifers were affected by consumer decisions. This becomes a problem if too much water is withdrawn in water-scarce and/or low-income regions where ecological protection and clean drinking water are not available.
Your consumer decisions matter to reduce your both your water and carbon footprints, so that the health of the environment, water resources and the economy thrive. Moreover, water, energy and climate are interrelated and can’t be isolated.
Check out the rest of the insightful articles from the Quartz Future of Water series.