Your Water Consumption and the Water You Eat

16 Mar 2018

Category: Educational Eco

Do You Know How Much Water You Consume?

Your water consumption is quite simply the volume of water you use. For individuals, this is measured in litres. This measurement becomes your individual water footprint. However, water footprints can also be used for entire nations. They act as estimates of direct and indirect water use by producers and consumers. The water footprint and therefore consumption of a country relates directly to the dietary habits of the people that live there. Countries with a high meat consumption have a larger water footprint. In this blog, we’ll go into just how much water you consume without even realising.

Domestic Consumption

What if we told you: you eat 3496 litres of water every day. Eating water might sound strange, but understanding how much water you eat or consume can be helpful for understanding water consumption. Understanding this is key to making sure there is enough water for everybody on the planet.

Most of the water we consume is obvious. It comes from our taps or showers. We use it to wash our clothes, do our cleaning or clean ourselves. Then there’s the water that we drink. This all comes under “domestic consumption”. Every day, on average, our domestic consumption is around 137 litres. When broken down, 35% of that is used for bathing or showering, 30% for flushing the toilet, 20% for laundry, 10% for cooking/drinking and 5% for cleaning. Unfortunately, though, our domestic consumption is only a small amount of what we use in total.

Virtual Water

There are two non-visible parts of water consumption that amount to the majority of individual consumption. The first part is water used for the production of everyday industrial products. This includes materials like cotton, and paper and also the clothes you wear. Production of industrial products makes up 167 litres of water a day. The biggest invisible part of water consumption is associated with the production of the food we consume. This is the 3496 litres a day we referred to earlier. Eating this much water means you “eat” 92% of your daily water consumption.

This invisible water helps us understand how much water is needed to produce the goods we use and the food we eat. “Virtual water” is the amount of water that is embedded in food or other products needed for its production. “Trade in virtual water allows water-scarce countries to import high water consuming products while exporting low water consuming products and in this way making water available for other purposes” – World Water Council.

Water We Eat

Different foods are more water friendly than others. With 92% of the water we use being used for food production, it’s essential we shop smart. A few small difference to our shopping baskets could make all the difference for the world’s water consumption. The key to lower water consumption? Less red meat. Red meat is one of the worst foods for water consumption. When comparing a vegetarian’s consumption of water per day, it is around 2,500 litres. For meat eaters, however, it stands at twice that. 5,000 litres of water per day.

So, what can you do?

  1. Have one meat-free day a week. Less meat means lower water consumption. Try to go veggie!
  2. Choose grass-fed meat rather than corn. Corn fed meat requires more water to grow the corn, to then feed the animal. Grass-fed animals cut out this use of water as they are eating a natural plant.
  3. Do not waste food. In advanced nations, we throw away nearly a third of the food we purchase. This wastes the food and the water used to grow/feed it.

To make a difference, follow the rules above. But why stop there? Here at Billi, we offer a water conscious water system. Our taps only heat/cool the water you need. No more wasting heat or water when overfilling a kettle, and a much smaller carbon footprint.  Contact our sales team for more information today. In the meantime, find out your water footprint here.