Your Water Footprint
This is a simple to read, yet eye opening book. We all tend to assume that water is our most abundant and available resource and this is probably why all of us bristle at rising water bill rates. When I was a kid in school, one of the amazing facts that we learned was that 80% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. It is a fun fact that leaves out a critical bit of information. Of all that water, only 2.5% is fresh water, and thus usable by humans for drinking and farming and manufacturing. Still, that seems like a whole lot of water for us to use, till you are faced with other facts: that 30% of the world’s population lives without an adequate supply of water, that many countries in the world are draining their underground aquifers (a major source of fresh water for crops) faster than they can be replenished, or that pollution of fresh water sources the world over is taking a big bite out of that 2.5%.
Author Stephen Leahy presents water availability and usage statistics with easy to understand graphs and captivating artwork, making this book something your whole family can enjoy, understand, and discuss. Many of the water facts are astonishing, such as the amount of water used just to make that cheese burger you had for lunch (634 gallons) or that the manufacture of four new car tires takes 2,074 gallons of water or that The Imperial Valley in California, one of the most fertile, productive, and critical farming regions in the world uses an entire cubic mile of the Colorado river for irrigation every year. After reading this book you will have a new appreciation for the cost of water and the clear need to conserve this vital, yet dwindling resource. The author provides a chapter of useful water saving tips that are quite achievable and which will serve to keep you aware of your water footprint.