Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can You Leave Footprints on the Water? Sure You Can!

All of us have heard about the carbon footprint.  But how about the water footprint?  This is one concept that we do not hear as frequently.  Just like the carbon footprint, the way we live, the consumption decisions we make, can have an effect on the future sustainability of the earth and the type of habitat that we will leave to our children.  Just like the carbon footprint, there is a water footprint calculator.

WFN, an organization that promotes more efficient use of our scarce water resources, describes it this way:
The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business.

It is also important to think about the water footprint in terms of the Seventh of the Eight Millennium Development Goals, which deals with Environmental Sustainability. I'm referring specifically to Target 7C, which urges us to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.  

At a broader level, how do we share this valuable resource that is growing increasingly scarce partly due to global climate change?

Conservation should certainly be a the top of all our lists.  But there are other innovative actions that we can take, Amanda Brock, chief executive officer of a company called Water Standard, is promoting desalination as a partial solution.  Not the big expensive desalination plants like those that have been built in some countries in the Middle East.  Ms. Brock, a panelist at the Border Energy Conference in Houston on Oct. 15-16, said her company has come up with an innovative and cost-effective solution.  A mobile desalination unit that can travel anywhere in the world.  Read more about it.

1 comment:

Barbara Miller said...

Wow! It's wonderful to hear about such creative and thoughtful solutions to a grave problem which will become even greater in coming years.