Water Footprints of Nations

What is your country’s ‘water footprint’?

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Average national water footprint per capita (m3/cap/yr). Green means that the nation's water footprint is equal to or smaller than the global average. Countries with red have a water footprint beyond the global average. Period: 1997-2001.

The ‘water footprint’ of a country is defined as the volume of water needed for the production of goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the country. The water footprint of a country can be calculated with either the top-down approach or bottom-up approach. In the top-down approach, one calculates the water footprint as the sum of water use in the country plus gross virtual water import into the country minus gross virtual water export. In the bottom-up approach, we aggregate the individual water footprints of the inhabitants of a country to get the total water footprint of a country. Individual water footprints are calculated by multiplying all consumed goods and services with their respective virtual water content.

The major objective of the study is to assess the water footprints of all nations of the world, using and comparing both calculation approaches.Based on the top-down approach, the global average water footprint is found to be 1240 m3/yr/cap. There are large differences between countries. In the USA the average water footprint is 2500 m3/cap/yr. In China the average water footprint is 700 m3/cap/yr.

Source: Water Footprint Network Also see calculate your water footprint

Africa’s Water

“Today, 766 million people live in Africa alone, a figure expected to rise to 1.3 billion by 2025.  More than 40 percent of the continent’s land surface is considered to be dry, and another 27 percent is classified as desert.  UNEP suggests that 14 African countries, mostly in the north, face water scarcity right now.  UNFPA reckons that at least another five – Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda and South Africa – will join them within the next decade, with half a dozen more in the next 25 years.  UNDP says that by the year 2025 almost one in two Africans will be living in an area of water scarcity or water stress.”

Source: Africa Geographic Magazine, October 2009

Calculating an individual’s- or nation’s ‘water footprint’ is unlikely to provide an absolute accurate figure but is useful for comparative purposes.  Likewise, we all know that statistics are sometimes manipulated by organisations to suit their agendas (as Mark Twain said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”).  However, statistics aside, it should be obvious that the world and particularly many African countries will be facing serious water shortages (if not already) sooner rather than later.  Water Rhapsody Conservation Systems supply tried and tested water saving systems and devices for the water crisis we are facing in South Africa. Ensure that you are prepared and start reducing your water footprint now by installing rainwater tanks (rooftop rainwater harvesting ) and grey water recycling systems.  Water storage is integral to our systems and to contingency water supplies.  Everyone should have a rainwater tank or a water tank for storing municipal or borehole water for household use.  Water scarcity is a growing reality around the world and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.  We are also facing a global energy crisis.  This is why we at Water Rhapsody Mpumalanga have incorporated Yes Solar (solar energy) so that you can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and move toward renewable, green solar energy.  Yes Solar markets and supplies German-made Solsquare solar water heating systems that are SABS-approved and are eligible for Eskom’s solar geyser rebate scheme.  Solsquare solar water heaters are always installed by qualified solar installers and carry a 10 year warranty.  Contact us for a free quote on a solar geyser, water system or water tank (we are authorized JoJo Tanks dealers and supply the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands).  We can also supply Atlas Plastics water tanks.  Our water tank prices are highly competitive!

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