Water, Water Everywhere, but not a Drop to Drink
Most people are now aware of their carbon footprint but do you know about your water footprint? Edward Murray reveals why this most basic commodity is becoming scarce and explains how the insurance industry is working to provide solutions
What is a water footprint? Edward Murray tells us what a water footprint is, reveals why this most basic commodity is becoming scarce and explains how the insurance industry is working to provide solutions.
As natural commodities go, water is perhaps the most important but least valued of them all. We know how much we pay for the energy that heats our homes and people cannot stop talking about how much it costs to fill up their cars at the pumps; but water, well who knows how much that costs? At a commercial level, businesses are better acquainted with the cost of their water as well as the potential impact of supply interruptions. However, they are still a long way from overcoming issues around these interruptions and the growing problem of water scarcity that will drive them.
Each and every product that hits our shelves has a water footprint in the same way it has a carbon footprint. A kilogram of beef, for example, has an average global footprint of almost 15,500 litres, while a 250g cotton shirt has a footprint of almost 2,500 litres. It takes 132 litres to make a small cup of coffee and if you want to turn water into wine, then you will need 109 litres to make a 125ml glass. More information on these figures and the research that sits behind them can be found at The Water Footprint Network: www.waterfootprint.org. The precious nature of water as a natural commodity is beginning to hit home and in the UK, government targets have been announced to