Water Footprints

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You’ve heard about carbon footprints, but what about your water footprint? Derk Kuiper, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network, explains how water footprints are measured, why it was developed and how it’s helping to shape global water policy.

You can calculate your own water footprint here and here.


Derk Kuiper

Comments [7]

kai from NJ-NYC

It is important to think and be concerned about where one's direct water comes from (local) just as it is to think about how much "virtual water" goes into the products that we use (oftentimes global).

Lowering one's overall consumption lowers both his or her water footprint as well as carbon footprint.

Well done to Mr. Kuiper, Mr. Hoekstra, and the Water Footprint Network for their work on this issue. H2O Conserve, based in NYC, also works on water footprint issues.

Feb. 19 2009 02:38 PM
Rebecca Klinger from NYC

Melting glaciers! Oh! I thought Leonard and his guest were talking about Milton Glaser...


Feb. 19 2009 01:53 PM
John from Brooklyn

My parents live in the Atlanta area where they are still dealing with a near catastrophic water shortage. My father has this crazy idea that we should build a water pipeline, similar to an oil pipeline, to transfer water from areas of the U.S with an abundance of water to places suffering from drought. Is this feasible?

Feb. 19 2009 01:52 PM
Laura from Brooklyn

Natural Gas drilling uses 5 million gallons of water per well and each well can be hydrofracted up to 18 times, a huge waste of water. PLUS, there is a huge threat not only to the rivers drained but also the threat of contamination of NYC's water shed. This happened in Pittsburgh and there are plans to build thousands of wells in New York. Here is a good website about it:

Feb. 19 2009 01:51 PM
Mike from Inwood

It never ceases to amaze me that whenever questions of sustainability arise, whether they concern water, oil or food, the question of over population never arises.

There are curently more poeple alive than the total number who have died throughout history. "How many people can the earth sustain?" is the real meta-question that is almost never asked.

When we consider how many people can the earth sustain while allowing other species to exist, not because they have rights equal to people, but because our lives are enriched by sharing the earth with them, is asked even less.

Feb. 19 2009 01:50 PM
j from nyc

read an interesting research article in Science magazine after the North Carolina floods a few years ago, about how mountain top mining was creating more flooding: the rain clouds can't form smaller raindrops as before because the mountains aren't there to break up the moisture at that higher level in the atmosphere.
on top of the regular dumping in rivers/fresh water streams that goes along with the bush administration mining policies still in effect, this flooding also contaminates because of all of the pesticide use, causing further pollution to the land.

Feb. 19 2009 01:39 PM
Amy from Brooklyn

This is like cloth vs. disposable diapers. It's a question of what's more appropriate in your location. Cloth diapers are most sustainable here because water in the NYC area is local - our reservoirs fill from local rain - but landfill is scarce.

Feb. 19 2009 01:31 PM

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