Your Green Life: "Water Footprint"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

Reducing the amount of water you use at home can be beneficial for our environment here in Duluth. In this week's "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson takes a look at what you can do to keep your water foot print small.

Fresh Water is one of the most abundant resources we have here in the northland, but have you ever thought about how much water it takes to grow a head of cabbage or produce juicy sweet corn?
Most people don't, but the website Waterfootprint.org has given it much thought and did the calculations.

Think about this, it takes over 18 gallons of water to grow an apple. And not to compare apples to oranges, but it takes 121 gallons of water to make an orange. So how will that affect your decision next time you are at the supermarket?

"I think I'd still go for quality of the fruit over how much water was used. I don't think it'd sway much. It depends on what kind of fruit I want." said Mike Jorgenson.

With so much water being used to grow your food, you can try to reduce your water footprint by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, or doing the dishes in the sink.

"I think post people aren't aware of that, so water foot printing really gives them a way to think about those connections and to think about how they use water" says Heather Cooley.

Cooley says only 6 percent of our water footprint comes from household use, the root of the issues is the farms.

"By reducing water use on our farm and our businesses it can reduce the water footprint in general for an individual, for a business, and for even the country or the globe." said Cooley.

Fortunately, improvements in farming technologies and irrigation tactics can make our water footprint smaller and let us use each drop of water more efficiently.
In Duluth, For your Green Life, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northland's Newscenter.

To calculate the size of your own water footprint, visit www.waterfootprint.org