I’m sure you all have a pretty good inkling about some elements of what your carbon footprint is and have, in your own way, implemented certain strategies on how to lessen that footprint.
But are you at all aware of what the water footprint is for each bit of food you consume?
Here are the water footprints for a few foods that may surprise you – making it high time perhaps to get the most out of your allotment or even your windowsill gardens for that matter.
1. Tomato: On average, one tomato (250 gram) costs 50 litres of water. Tomato sauce / ketchup costs 530 litres of water per kilogram of tomato ketchup.
Tomato puree costs 710 litres of water per kilogram of tomato puree.
2. A pound of lettuce = 114 litres
In general, vegetables take much less water to produce than animal products: That’s where the Meatless Monday suggestion comes in. You don’t need to go vegan, but every bit helps. Lettuces’ water footprint for the UK can be a lot higher as the produce can need to be brought in for consumption from other countries in the winter months.
3. A kilogram of chocolate = 17 000 litres
On average, cocoa beans have a water footprint of 20 000 litres/kg. Cocoa beans are first made into cocoa paste, with cocoa shells as rest product. About 97% of the total water footprint of cocoa beans is allocated to the cocoa paste that is derived from the beans; the rest is attributed to the by-products. One kilogram of cocoa beans gives about 800 gram of paste, so that the water footprint of cocoa paste is about 24 000 litres/kg. From this we can calculate that chocolate has a water footprint of about 17 000 litres/kg.
4. A slice of pizza = 159 litres of water
That would be 68 litres for the flour, 79 litres for the cheese, and nearly 11 for the sauce. Mozzarella, it turns out, is a real water sucker, as is any animal product. Of course, this is the global average, and water use per slice varies from country to country. French pizza has less than half this footprint, the US just about hits the average mark, and Chinese pizza is slightly more waterlogged.
Obviously, you can’t live on water alone (although it’s super important to ensure that you drink sufficient water), but perhaps spare a thought in future about where your food comes from.
*excerpts from Waterfootprint.org
In a previous blog, I spoke about the rather disturbing trend where almost every single day of the year has been tagged as a Day of Something or Other. One seems hard pressed to wheedle out a day that has actual significance or some real meaning or; that is of importance and is worth commemorating.
A day that is worth marking though is World Water Day, which this year, will be held on the 22nd of March 2015. In case you’re wondering why – as you may have all the water that you need and believe that’s all there is to it – here are just a few reasons – from a personal perspective:
- Water is essentially life giving.
- There is no spectrum of our lives that is possible without water – this starts with the fact that our physical make-up is around 70% water.
- Water is a scarce resource and as about only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water, it is a resource that needs to be protected and used wisely.
- Short of developments in nuclear fusion, we cannot ‘make’ water, so we need to ensure that the water that we do have is used in a sustainable manner going forward.
The theme for the 2015 World Water Day is Water and Sustainable Development. Some pertinent facts according to the World Water Day website:
- Water is health – Clean hands can save your life.
- Water is nature – Ecosystems lie at the heart of the global water cycle.
- Water is energy – Water and energy are inseparable friends.
- Water is food – To produce two steaks you need 15 000 litres of water.
- Water is equality – Every day women spend 200 million hours carrying water.
- Water is urbanization – Every week, one million people move into cities.
- Water is industry – More water is used to manufacture a car than to fill a swimming pool.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, I think it’s safe to say that the world’s water is of concern for us all and that creating and maintaining a sustainable supply is imperative.
Here at AquAid, a very important part of our ethos is assisting in the creation of a sustainable water supply globally, for those less fortunate, in order for these communities to empower themselves and their future generations.
You can follow this link to see what events are being held where this World Water Day 2015.