Much of the environmental discussion of the new millennium has been centered on an individual’s carbon footprint. From running the shower to the continuous flow of the faucet as you brush your teeth, we have all heard statistics regarding how much water we use. Similar to our carbon footprint, we can estimate our individual water footprint.
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There have been state-to-state disagreements regarding the source of water (i.e. Florida vs. Georgia), and there have also been concerns about whether or not the water supply will always be as free-flowing as it is today (i.e. California’s dependence on the Hoover Dam). Future changes in water usage will have to be considered. It will take innovative water companies with extensive experience, drive, and concern to lead that movement.
Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands calculated the global water footprint as well as the per capita water consumption of the world’s countries. The world uses 9,087 billion cubic meters of water in one year. The top five freshwater consumers in the world are China, India, the United States, Brazil, and Russia. Almost 30 percent of the U.S. water consumption stems from the consumption of meat. The consumption of sugar accounts for another 15 percent.
Scientists blame the production of food and products in the more densely populated countries for their high levels of water use. Inefficient agriculture has also been cited as a significant cause of the imbalance between countries. The figure is somewhat difficult to calculate in any exact way due to the importing of some products containing water. If one country exports water-based products (such as meat), they are technically the consumer of the water, whereas the importer may actually be using in a more obvious, outright manner.
The Global Water Footprint Standard (GWFA) tells the story of water’s past and present. The GWFA details the internationally accepted means by which a Water Footprint Assessment is conducted. It is used to provide comparisons between both countries and individuals. It provides globally accepted analytics with which towns, states, or countries can formulate sensible, sustainable water policies that will be beneficial to their residents and to their environment. The way to avoid new water crises is to innovate so that the potential situation is over before it begins.
It has been suggested that inefficiency is a problem that can be resolved through innovation.
Water system companies like Harn R/O Systems have been innovating in the field of water treatment systems for over forty years. We have optimized the efficiency of treatment in a way that is beneficial to membrane systems we design, build, install, and service. Harn’s engineers and designers believe that the future of water treatment is innovation. We are dedicated to exist on the front line of that research and development.