Water footprint

Image source: www.disinfo.com

An article in The Guardian today made me realise that my concern about water supplies (or lack thereof) has been overly country-centric. The headline: Revealed: the massive scale of UK’s water consumption makes reference to the concept of virtual water; that is, water one consumes as a result of consumption of imported goods which require water for their production. Britain ranks 6th in the world, with average household water use for washing and drinking amounting to around 150 litres a person daily, plus 30 times as much in virtual water, used in the production of imported food and textiles.

All this will be of no surprise to those attending this week’s World Water Week forum in Stockholm where access to clean water is being discussed in much the same way as access to oil; it is a finite resource that is running out in some areas and becoming more expensive with obvious consequences for consumer prices. Time to assess our water footprints perhaps.