Skip to content

🔬 "Your Water Footprint"


Photo by Rachel Woock / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Kai Olson-Sawyer | Senior Research and Policy Analyst | GRACE Communications Foundation
Category: 🔬 Research | Water Footprint

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[3:04] “The carbon footprint has really been popular for the past decade or so, […] but the water footprint has slowly been approaching. And it's been around nearly as long, but it's kind of the sister that wasn't as well seen, and as well heard of. So the water footprint […] is the measure of the volume of water consumed, evaporated, or removed from a watershed. And that can be for an individual household business, community, even a country.”

[3:47] “We're really interested in […] two types of water when it comes to the water footprint. […] Direct water use […] is the water you see and feel, the water that comes out of your tap, or the water that you use in the bathroom […]. And then there's indirect water and that's also called virtual water. And that's all the water that goes into mak[ing] the things that you eat, the electricity you use, consumer products, manufacturing those.”

[5:20] “Toilets are the biggest household water user, in a lot of cases, definitely indoor.”

[7:05] “About 50 to 100 gallons of water per person per day is a typical household water direct use. […] It tends to be pretty static across the US when it comes to indoor water use, but outdoor water use can vary greatly.”

[10:12] “We have to understand that the way we use water is going to have to change with the climate.”

[10:26] “Indirect or virtual water use, that's the water you don't see. That's the water that goes into producing so many things that you buy and use every day. […] In the United States the biggest withdrawal of water is actually thermal electric power production. […] Manufacturing of pretty much every product we buy takes a lot of water. […] The big water consumer is agriculture.”

[15:18] “There's kind of a ladder of water footprint reduction that we look at. One of the best places to start is just turn off the tap. […] Secondly, fix your leaks. The EPA found that it can be 10% or more of a person's household water use that goes to leaks. […] When it comes to virtual water use: […] drive a little bit less, buy a few less things, […] when you're not in the room, turn off the light switch, […] think about the food you eat, […] don't waste food. Wasted food is wasted water. […] A lot of these steps have co- benefits. Not only are you reducing waste in general, you're reducing water waste, you're cutting your greenhouse gas emissions.

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 21 min | 🗓️ 07/11/2022
✅ Time saved: 19 min

Additional Links:
Water Footprint Calculator