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Transparency: How Much Water Do You Use?

As we become more and more aware that we may be using water at an unsustainable pace, the idea of water footprints-the amount of water an...

As we become more and more aware that we may be using water at an unsustainable pace, the idea of water footprints-the amount of water an individual uses-is becoming more common. Water footprints can be hard to calculate, depending on how far up the chain of production you go, since everything you eat and buy used some water to produce (to feed cows for beef, for example, or to use in the factory that made your cell phone). With our latest Transparency, we give you some examples of how much water is used in some of your daily activities, so that you can begin calculate your footprint and try to reduce your gallons.

To help put things in perspective, think about this: your standard trash barrel holds 32 gallons and a mid-sized passenger car-if pumped full of water-has room for a little more than 800 gallons. So, the difference in the amount of water it takes to produce a pound of chicken and a pound of beef is enough to fill almost two whole cars.


A collaboration between GOOD and Fogelson-Lubliner.

SOURCES: Department of Energy; H2OConserve; IEEE Spectrum; The Water Footprint Network

UPDATE: The folks at Fogelson-Lubliner have updated the graphic slightly. You can view the original here.

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