Understanding the Heavy Weight of Our Water Footprint: A New Book from Journalist Stephen Leahy

Wsteve_laehy_sm.jpge’ve all heard about reducing our carbon footprint, but what about our water footprint? In his new book, "Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use To Make Everyday Products,"award-winning environmental journalist Stephen Leahy reports on “The hidden world of virtual water.”

Utilizing a variety of images and graphics, Leahy details the many ways in which water is used to produce a wide variety of everyday items. These unexpected products include electronics, meat, and clothing:

It takes more than 7,600 liters (2,000 gallons) of water to make a single pair of jeans. That morning cup of coffee required 140 liters (37 gallons) of water before it found its way to your table—water that was used to grow, process and ship the coffee beans. When we spend money on food, clothes, cell phones or even electricity, we are buying water  — a shockingly large amount of water.”

With water in such high demand amidst shortages in the U.S. and abroad, Leahy hopes to shed light on this issue. In a recent interview in Grace Communications Foundation she explains that his hope in writing the book was,

…to give readers enough information to make water-wise choices to reduce their water use which will not only save money but also be prepared for shortages and ensure our children and grandchildren will have abundant fresh water. This is all about smart substitutions and changes, rather than sacrifice and self-denial.”

your_water_steve_laehy.jpgHopefully this is the beginning of a larger more global shift towards understanding water waste in general. Leahy’s guide is an eye-opener.

PHOTO: Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist and author stephenleahy.net



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