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

Insurance - - CONTENTS -

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.

Water foot­print

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

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