I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my water footprint. I can actually go to my utilities account on the City of Austin website and compare my water usage to past months/years. It’s pretty frightening how much water a family can use, though our use is below average and we certainly have nothing on Lance Armstrong (see Lance Armstrong Uses More Water Than Anyone Else in the World).
I came across an article some time back in an obscure international engineering publication about the Virtual Water Project and it caught my eye because it showed a photo of a typical grocery store with signs next to the cheese, the meat, the produce, etc. but printed on the sign was the water used in its production instead of its price. It’s really shocking to realize the amount of water it takes to produce a liter of milk . . . 1,000 liters folks! (For us Americans that translates to over 1,200 gallons, ouch)
While I was researching this I came across the Water Footprint Calculator and was surprised to learn that a US omnivore (aren’t we all?) actually makes about half the water usage footprint as that of our Brazilian counterparts and exactly the same as amount as the French.
Check out this project and go pick up one of their posters, here’s a pic: