Using the Calculator When You’re Outside the US

Using the Calculator When You’re Outside the US

The Water Footprint Calculator helps visitors understand how they use water and how they can use less. This is true for users outside of the United States as well, with the understanding that certain data might be more or less applicable to where they live.

Welcome to the Water Footprint Calculator

The Water Footprint Calculator provides a snapshot of how a person’s daily activities and routines impact their water use. The results, reported as a water footprint, are meant to be an estimate that can help people better understand how their habits and behaviors contribute to their overall water use.

View or download a pdf of the methodology that shows all of the data, sources and equations.

Metric to US Unit Conversions

The following conversions will help users understand their results:

  • 1 gallon = 3.785 liters
  • 1 gallon per minute = 3.785 liters per minute
  • 1 mile = 1.60934 kilometers
  • 1 square foot = 0.092903 square meters
  • 1 pound = 0.453592 kg
  • 1 ounce = 28.3495 g

Outside the United States

Electric Power Production

The main challenge visitors outside of the US face in using the Water Footprint Calculator is deciding how to answer the question that asks them to choose their state. The question relates to electric power production because different forms of electric power production – hydroelectric, thermoelectric, solar PV, wind, etc. – consume more or less water depending on the technology, and each US-state’s power production profile varies depending on the types of technologies used.

A visitor from outside the US can determine their area’s predominant power portfolio (for example, by looking at their power company’s website), and then they can compare their profile to profiles from US states (listed in Table 1). Then, when they get to the state question in the Water Footprint Calculator, they can choose that state.

Table 1. Power Production Profiles (Shown as Percentages) by US State in 2016*.

StateCoalHydroelectricNatural GasNuclearPetroleumSolar (PV & Thermo)WindOther
Alabama24541280002
Alaska92648013031
Arizona 28731300300
Arkansas39630220002
California0154910010710
Colorado55323001170
Connecticut0149450004
Delaware508901104
District of Columbia0030010069
Florida17067121003
Georgia28340260103
Hawaii15100671610
Idaho05821000164
Illinois3209530061
Indiana7102001053
Iowa4625900371
Kansas49041700300
Kentucky8341002001
Louisiana11162164005
Maine126300101428
Maryland37415400112
Massachusetts6266171215
Michigan36126281043
Minnesota392152300174
Mississippi808090002
Missouri7728120010
Montana5136200083
Nebraska60212600100
Nevada547300819
New Hampshire2625560029
New Jersey2056390102
New Mexico56030002110
New York12042310032
North Carolina29330330302
North Dakota7053000220
Ohio58024141011
Oklahoma 24346000260
Oregon 35725000122
Pennsylvania 25132390021
Rhode Island 009600003
South Carolina 22217580001
South Dakota 18428000320
Tennessee 39914370000
Texas 27050900131
Utah 6822300322
Vermont 05600031525
Virginia 18244321004
Washington 4691080071
West Virginia 942200020
Wisconsin 51424160022
Wyoming 862200091
Source: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/state/
*Data based on power profiles from 2016 since the Water Footprint Calculator is based on 2016 data.
**”Other” includes geothermal, biomass, other gasses, wood and wood derived fuels, etc.

 

Example: South Korea

South Korea’s power production profile in 2016 was as follows:

Production Type Percentage of Total
Coal 40
Nuclear30
Natural Gas22
Renewables4
Petroleum3
Hydroelectric1

While there are no exact matches, the profile is somewhat similar to Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Tennessee – any of these states would work. Note that the predominant forms of power production – coal, natural gas and nuclear – are all forms of thermoelectric power which typically require a lot of cooling water that is consumed in order to produce electricity.

The Water Footprint Calculator is not intended to be an exact accounting of anyone’s water use. The point of it is to act as a mirror for how people use water and for people to think about their behaviors and how they could use less water. 

Water Footprint Networks’ Water Footprint Calculator

Another option for people who are not in the United States is to use the personal water footprint calculator on the Water Footprint Network’s site. That calculator allows users to select their country and language and the data is based on individual countries. Note that it does not ask about power production or transportation fuels.