What is Water Footprint?

Thursday 12th March 2015

This blog feature looks at what a water footprint is and why it is so important to be aware of your water footprint not only as a business, but as an individual also.

As you may be aware, Jute has a very low carbon footprint. This means that in producing many Jute products, there is a low level of carbon gas being emitted and so the natural fibre can be viewed as a very eco-friendly product. Jute also has a low water footprint...But what is this exactly? This blog feature looks at what a water footprint is and why it is so important to be aware of your water footprint not only as a business, but as an individual also.

People consume water for drinking, cooking, washing, but also for production such as in food, paper, textiles and clothes. Consumption includes not only things like irrigation of crops but also refers to the volume of freshwater used and then evaporated or incorporated into a product. The water footprint is, therefore, the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce, maintain and ship goods and services. An individual's water footprint is often more indirect, such as buying clothes that have a high water footprint throughout the supply chain.

Issues such as water shortages and pollution can be better understood and addressed by considering production and supply chains due to the structure of the global economy and the movement of goods (therefore water) from one region to another. Water governance and conservation are not widespread, and neither is the access to water and so monitoring where water travels to and from are important considerations.

So coming back to Jute, The total water needed for planting, harvesting, irrigating, transportation and then producing a good (such as reusable bags) is very low. Traditionally farmed, it is grown in similar conditions to organic farming. The crop is rotated with others, while no pesticides or fertilisers are used in the growing process and nothing is Genetically Modified.

We have a huge impact on freshwater systems due to our human consumption. Be sure to look into what water you consume, how you could consume less, how high the water footprint of your clothing and purchases are and how you can help reduce water footprints.

 

Carbon & Water Footprint Summary

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