The water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use. It can be measured for a single process, such as growing rice, for a product, such as a pair of jeans, for the fuel we put in our car, or for an entire multi-national company. The water footprint can also tell us how much water is being consumed by a particular country – or globally – in a specific river basin or from an aquifer.
The water footprint has three components: green, blue and gray. Together, these components provide a comprehensive picture of water use by delineating the source of water consumed, either as rainfall/soil moisture or surface/groundwater, and the volume of fresh water required for assimilation of pollutants.
Water Footprint & the Global Economy
“Water problems are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. Many countries have significantly externalized their water footprint, importing water-intensive goods from elsewhere. Not only governments, but also consumers, businesses and civil society communities can play a role in achieving a better management of water resources.”
Yangtze River, China
The water footprint of US citizens is 2840 cubic meter per year per capita. About 20% of this water footprint is external. The largest external water footprint of US consumption lies in the Yangtze River Basin, China.
Reel Chefs Catering
Sponsor & Partner of the Water Footprint Network
Reel Chefs has dedicated our business to the values and initiatives of the Water Footprint Network, implementing water conservation measures in every sector of our operation. Our investment in locally sourced agriculture and other goods, ecological restoration projects & food waste diversion strategies are all means by which we continue to up level our commitment to sustainability & water stewardship.
How to Improve your Water Footprint
Source: USDA, Doing More with Less Water
Agricultural production contributes 92% to the total water footprint of humanity. By addressing water conservation measures in farm operations, society can make substantial gains in sustainability of our water footprint!
Farmers can conserve water by making improvements to their irrigation systems. Drip irrigation can reduce water use by 30 to 70 percent compared to conventional sprinkler irrigation!
Cover crops improve the health of soils by keeping the soil covered, cooling the surface, and reducing water lost to evaporation. They increase the organic matter in the soil, which improves soil structure, prevents soil erosion, and ensures water and nutrients stay where they should be, in the soil.
Residue and Tillage Management (No-Till)
No-till is the practice of creating a narrow furrow just large enough for a seed to be placed, typically using a no-till planter. By not plowing or disking, prior cash and cover crop residues stay on the surface, protecting the soil and keeping it healthier than it would be using conventional tillage.
Small Farms Play a Big Role
in our Sustainable Water Footprint
"We estimate that farms under 2ha globally produce 28–31% of total crop production and 30–34% of food supply on 24% of gross agricultural area. Farms under 2ha devote a greater proportion of their production to food, and account for greater crop diversity, while farms over 1000ha have the greatest proportion of post-harvest loss."
This is why Reel Chefs partners with small farms; local agricultural partners who steward soil health, biodiversity & water conservation in dynamic and versatile ways.
Our Farm Partners!
Jr. B Farms https://www.instagram.com/jrbfarms/?hl=en
Ayala Farms https://www.instagram.com/ayalafarms/?hl=en
Mendez Produce https://santafefarmersmarket.com/profile/mendez-produce/