How to save water it should be part of the 'knowledge' of each of us because we like it or not the water emergency is now a theme of our life. According to some environmentalists, if we do not change habits and ways of managing this resource, by 2050 global water consumption will exceed the reserves of available fresh water.
There is the World Water Day announced for March 22, in the hope that we do not stop at the anniversary and good intentions.
How to save water at home we can and should ask ourselves every time we open a tap or use water for watering, but also and perhaps especially when we shop at the supermarket. What we do not know is that every person in Italy consumes over 6 thousand liters of water every day through the products they consume.
To give us this news, but also to suggest us how to save water in spending, is the WWF report entitled 'The water footprint of Italy' edited by Marta Antonelli and Francesca Greco of King's College London, object of reflection on the way to Expo Milano 2015 focused on the theme of nutrition.
According to the report, there is a water footprint of production and a water footprint of consumption. The first is given by the amount of fresh water used in Italy for goods produced in the national territory, the second by the amount of fresh water used for all goods consumed by Italians, including water used outside Italy to produce imported goods.
Looking at the water footprint of production, we discover that in Italy this is equal to about 70 billion m³ of water every year. For 85% it depends on agriculture (75% in the production of vegetables that become food for humans and animals and 10% in grazing and farming). Industry accounts for 8% of the water footprint of production, the remaining 7% is for domestic use.
Obviously, the water footprint of consumption is greater, equal in Italy to about 132 billion m3 of water per year (over 6 thousand liters per capita per day), because it also includes water in imported goods. The consumption of food, understood as agricultural and animal products, accounts for the lion's share with 89% of the total daily water footprint.
So if we think about how to save water we should focus above all on what we eat, since the consumption of water for domestic use (here we are talking about cleaning, cooking and even drinking) is only 4% of the water we consume every day. The remaining 7% is the part of water incorporated in industrial products.
What are the most thirsty foods? On top there are products of animal origin with milk, eggs, meat and animal fats which make up 50% of the total water footprint of consumption. The largest share is linked to the consumption of meat, on which one third of the total water footprint depends. This is followed by the consumption of vegetable oils (11%), that of cereals (10%) and the consumption of milk with 10%.
What does it mean? Simply that the goal of how to save water largely depends on our food choices, even more than on good behaviors, however important, related to the use of water at home and the recovery of rainwater. There will be a lot of talk about it during the events of Expo Milano 2015.