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Calculate — and reduce — your water footprint
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell, Keep Liberty Beautiful.

For my job as Executive Director of Keep Liberty Beautiful, I read a lot of environmental information. Some of it is very interesting, some topics are way above my head, and some make you stop and think about what you are doing. I came across an article from Project WET — Water Education Today. 

The website is dedicated to Educate. Empower. Act. 

They envision a world where action-oriented education enables every child to understand and value water, ensuring a sustainable future.

The site has a lot of great information and resources for teachers and anybody else who wants to learn more about water. I read an activity highlight called “My Water Footprint” that I will share with you: Human behavior and actions about natural resource use generate environmental footprints. For example, your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases you use based on your activities. The amount of water you use is known as your water footprint and involves direct and indirect uses.

Direct water use consists of the amount of water you consume in activities such as bathing and drinking. Indirect water is water used by others that benefit you (e.g., water used by farmers to grow the food you eat).

You can easily calculate your direct water use inside your home. Look at your monthly water bill and divide the amount used by the number of days in the month. Then, divide again by the number of people in your household. That will give you an estimate of water use per person. It’s important to note that the actual amount of water used varies between people, regions and time of year. Indirect water use is tricky to calculate and can be a difficult concept to grasp. For example, consider a bag of carrots from the grocery store. It is easy to see that water is needed to grow the carrots. However, water is also used to wash the carrots after picking them from the soil. Additionally, water is used to manufacture the plastic bags that the carrots are sold in. Manufacturers will consider the amount of water used in developing a product and analyze that information to decide how to make that product more sustainable.

Think about how much water you use in your household and how you can cut back. Plan to do the activity with your home water bill. You may find it interesting to see how much water each person uses daily. Doing this for a couple of months will show you your water pattern. The activity will help you understand your Water Footprint.

We can also help protect our waterways by participating in a cleanup. Next month will start Great American Cleanup, which runs March 19– June 21. Visit the Keep Liberty Beautiful website at www.keepliberty for more information.

To learn more water tips, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful, and we will be happy to share some information with you, and be sure to visit our Facebook page and let us know how you reduce your water footprint.

Contact us by phone at 912.880.4888 or email us at klcb@libertycountyga. com for more KLB programs information.

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