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Conservationists Shift Focus From Carbon To Water

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(credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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by John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Maybe you’ve heard of a carbon footprint, that is, how much carbon dioxide is released producing this or doing that. But there’s on another sort of footprint making a splash.

It’s the water footprint, which is an accounting of all the H2O that goes into an item.

The Sierra Club magazine had an eye-opening graphic in the May/June issue, using EPA figures.

“It takes 13 gallons of water to produce a gallon of paint,” said editor Paul Rauber. “It’s just part of the industrial process, and we’re not advocating that people stop using paint or wearing jeans, even though it take 1800 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans.  We just want people to be aware of how much water they use.”

Even one quart of bottled water takes three quarts to produce, and your morning latte 53 gallons.

Rauber notes that while Earth is two-thirds covered in water, only 1% is fresh.

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