Baby clothes

The cotton shirt you wear costs 2,000 liters of water

By hollisterclothingoutlet 24/12/2022 642 Views

A simple t-shirt contains about 200 grams of cotton, and to get them you need 2,000 liters of water. A jean requires 10,850 liters of water to manufacture it, according to calculations by the Water Footprint Network, and a pair of sports shoes, 4,400 liters. At the very least, we carry 17,250 liters of water with us. A fact to take into account when the global water footprint is 7.45 trillion m3 per year, which represents an average of 1,240 m3 per year per person.

When we are asked about our water consumption we think about the bill, dripping taps or the number of glasses we drink per day. And we don't realize that everything around us has needed water for its preparation. From the pencil with which we do crossword puzzles or the smartphone that we take everywhere, to the bed in which we sleep. For example, manufacturing a microchip for an electronic device 'costs' 130 litres.

The global water footprint is 7.45 trillion m3 per year, which represents an average of 1,240 m3 per year per person

The so-called water footprint is an indicator that measures the total volume of water candy used to produce the goods and services consumed by an individual or community, both directly and indirectly. It is a term coined in 2002 by Arjen Hoekstra, Professor of Water Management at the University of Twente (Netherlands). Evaluates the amount of water consumed or returned to the environment or to another basin with a different quality from its original one.

In Spain, EsAgua is the first water footprint platform that has been created, a unique and innovative project in the country whose main objective is to satisfy the growing need for information on the water footprint in those organizations, processes and products that they seek to achieve a more sustainable and equitable use of fresh water. It is managed by CETAQUA and promoted by the Water Footprint Network and AENOR, in addition to having the support of pioneering companies interested in the water footprint.

Continuing with the example of clothing, according to a study by El Corte Inglés and the Botín Foundation, which measured the water footprint in the production of clothing, that of young people is the most prominent. It would add up to 15,000 liters of water, or the equivalent of filling 15 cubic meter bathtubs.

How can we know what our level of consumption is?

The cotton T-shirt you are wearing costs 2,000 liters of water

We can know our water footprint with a series of very easy sums and just by reviewing our day to day: how many times we shower, how we dress, what we eat, the number of coffees we drink or the beers and wine after dinner job.

It is enough to know, in addition to the above data, that to make a cup of coffee about 140 liters of water are needed and that when we drink a glass of wine, we are actually consuming 117 liters of water. And when it comes to bottled water, no less than 3 liters of water are needed to make a single liter. Because if we are aware of our water footprint, we will be able to manage the water we consume responsibly.

Food waste in households generates a water footprint of more than 130 liters per person per day, while young people's clothes would fill 15 cubic meter bathtubs of water

We are also responsible

But what are the main consumers of water? Agriculture represents more than 70% of the fresh water consumed on the planet and, due to population growth, in the coming decades it will have to produce 50% more food by 2030. Industry is another major consumer of water, as an ingredient or raw material, for heating or cooling, in manufacturing or finishing processes. The World Bank estimates that, in Europe, 26% of water is used by industry.

A water consumption for which we are also responsible. If we choose beef on the lunch menu, we should know that a kilo of this type of meat implies an expense of about 15,400 liters of water; if we opt for lamb, it will be 6,100 liters per kilo, and in the case of chicken it will be 3,900 liters. And if we want a simple apple for dessert, we should know that 70 liters of water have been used in its production.

And this is without taking into account that every year, a third of the world's food production is lost or wasted before it is consumed. According to data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in its report Food wastage footprint – Impacts on natural resources, the figure represents a waste of about 1,300 million tons of food per year.

In Spain, food waste in homes generates a water footprint of more than 130 liters per person per day, according to a study published in a statement from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). Managing water responsibly does not only mean saving it in the morning shower or turning off the tap when we brush our teeth.

We must be aware of our water footprint to know the impact that our daily lives have on this resource and opt for more efficient measures. If we want to reduce our water footprint, the next time we go to a restaurant or a department store, we should take into account not only the amount on the menu or the price on the label, but also think about the cost of water.

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