You Use More Water Than You Think

You Use More Water Than You Think

It's easy to assume that your daily water use is limited to your morning shower, cooking and cleaning, and the eight (or so) glasses you drink to keep hydrated. In reality, a person's water footprint is much more significant—nearly everything you eat or wear, for example, uses water in the manufacturing process. Take a pair of jeans. According to author Stephen Leahy's "Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products", it takes 2,000 gallons (7,600 liters) of water to make your favorite pair of jeans. That includes growing the cotton and manufacturing the garment, but it doesn't include the water that you'll use to wash your jeans over time. Leahy says that the average American's daily water footprint is a whopping 2,115 gallons (8,000 liters). "Since 1 liter weighs 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), that's the weight of four cars you have to haul if you get all that water from a well," he writes.

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Droughts can mean major upheaval around the world, but there's hope. The first step to reducing your water footprint is understanding the implications of a low water supply.

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