footprints

How the United States Uses Water

October 13, 2018

Water usage in the United States is multio-faceted and the country is fortunate to have ample water resources compared to many other countries around the world. Water protection and conservation are still important though, because water is limited and no place is immune from drought. Water usage in the United States has dropped significantly over […]

Hydraulic Fracturing and its Impact on Water Resources

October 13, 2018

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a multistep extraction process in which fossil fuel-bearing rock formations are drilled and fractured using huge amounts of water. Oil and gas reserves that were at one time considered inaccessible are now available to be exploited. While the fracking process has expanded oil and gas development, it has also expanded […]

The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

October 12, 2018

Climate scientists have been saying all along that one of the primary effects of climate change is the disruption of the water cycle. Since so much of everyday life and planning is determined by hydrological systems, it is important to understand the impact that climate change is having (and will have) on drinking water supplies, […]

Sizing Up Electricity’s Water Footprint

October 10, 2018

Water is deeply intertwined with electricity production. In the past, researchers have estimated the large volumes of cooling water used by different kinds of power plants, but those estimates don’t usually take into account the many other thirsty steps required to generate electricity, from extracting fuels, to manufacturing all the parts of a power plant.  Estimating […]

What is the Water-Energy-Food Nexus?

October 3, 2018

Food, water and energy systems are intimately connected with each other and water is a crucial component to making food and energy systems work. It takes water to grow crops and produce energy and it takes a lot of energy to treat and move water. Food and energy are equally dependent upon each other. The […]

The Importance of Clean Water

October 2, 2018

When water and wastewater in this country is polluted it is devastating, but US water and wastewater treatment systems don’t all receive the funding they need to keep working properly. Water and Wastewater Systems Need Funding to Work Properly Water is one of the United States’ most vital resources, and when the country’s water is […]

The Difference Between Water Conservation and Efficiency

October 2, 2018

Water seems plentiful but droughts and shortages can happen anywhere and it’s helpful to know the difference between conservation and efficiency. What is Water Conservation and Efficiency? Many factors affect how much water people use in a day, including where they live, whether they live in a house or an apartment and how they live […]

The Hidden Water in Everyday Products

July 2, 2017

Hidden water is an important part of water use. It may not be visible, but millions of gallons of virtual water go into making the consumer goods Americans buy, use and throw away. Manufacturing everyday materials like paper, plastic, metal and fabric takes water – a lot of it. Knowing how much water it takes […]

The Water Footprint of Energy

July 2, 2017

Energy production uses a lot of water in both its forms – electricity and transportation fuels. It takes a lot of virtual water to make electricity, especially for thermoelectric power production. It also takes water to refine transportation fuels. So saving energy also save water and vice versa. Energy Production and Virtual Water Use In […]