Water: Precious commodityWater is our most precious commodity. And it becomes increasingly scarce. More and more people are consuming more and more water worldwide. In Germany alone, we consume more than 120 billion cubic meters of water each year – almost three times the volume of Lake Constance. The so-called "water footprint Takes into account not only direct water consumption, but also the water needed for the production of food and industrial goods.
Here are our tips on what you can do as a consumer to reduce your direct water consumption and the consumption of this so-called "virtual water" to reduce.
Seasonal and regional
In Germany, Central and Northern Europe, there is still comparatively enough water despite local drought phenomena, and these water resources are u.a. about EU Water Framework Directive comparatively well regulated. When buying food, make sure to give preference to regional and seasonal products. So you reduce the water risks associated with production and support our farmers.
Seasonal food are often fresher and require shorter transport distances, provided they are also produced regionally. A seasonal diet can also reduce the carbon footprint of food production, e.g., by reducing the amount of food consumed. B. if greenhouses do not have to be heated or cooled, are reduced.
About half of Germany's water footprint from agricultural goods is in imported products or foodstuffs. This means that by importing these goods, water was also imported in virtual form from the producing country. So there Germany has left its water footprint*. According to the 2009 WWF study, the imported goods with the highest water footprint are – in decreasing order – coffee, cocoa, oilseeds, cotton, meat, soybeans, milk, nuts and sunflowers.
*Proportionate (%) of EWF (external water footprint). Products that make the largest contribution to Germany's external agricultural water footprint.
Buy certified products
When shopping, make sure to buy environmentally friendly and certified products: Products that are made with Naturland or Blue Angel help protect water, soil and species. For organic products of EDEKA's own brands, WWF checks the regional water and country-specific social criteria of the growing region, as these are not covered by the organic criteria.
Buy more consciously
Rethink your meat consumption. Meat and animal products have an exceptionally high ecological footprint compared to a plant-based diet. In particular, the cultivation of plants for animal feed comes into play here. Behind one kilogram of beef, intensive farming accounts for as much as 15.500 liters of virtual water. For one kilogram of pork, 4 liters of water are used.800 liters of water used, for one kilogram of chicken meat 3.900 liters. The fewer animal products that end up on the dinner table, the smaller the water and carbon footprint.
When making your purchasing decisions, be aware that when you buy certain products, you are also making a water footprint in the country of cultivation and production leave behind. Buying less and better quality is sometimes more and cheaper in the long run.
Throw away less
Strawberries and packaging waste © rootstocks / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Avoiding waste is a priority. With each discarded food Let's also throw the corresponding amount of water that was needed for production into the barrel. Shop wisely and only buy as much as you need or can store well. Donate or give away leftover food that still has a shelf life.
Try to use everyday products for as long as possible. Can repaired or recycled become? Whether it's clothing or electronics, every item we simply dispose of represents vast amounts of virtual water that we are simply "throwing away". Demand transparency from companies. Act responsibly. Contact companies and ask where and how their products are produced and whether they know the water risks of their products. Ask if measures are being taken to specifically reduce water risks in their value and supply chains.
Get involved with our water resources. Address politics as well. Call on the German government and parliament – for example, through your member of parliament – to protect water as a resource. Sign relevant petitions and support organizations that stand up for water. Demand that at European level the Water Framework Directive is not weakened, but implemented more strongly. Also, more money must go into development cooperation, into more sustainable water management.
By becoming a sustaining member, you become part of WWF's plan to save nature!
Read more about water consumption at WWF
The water footprint takes into account both direct water consumption and "virtual water" in food and industrial goods. Read more .
Water wasting agriculture
Agriculture consumes 70 percent of our drinking water supplies worldwide. Cotton, rice or wheat require particularly large amounts of water. Read more .
Water is a scarce resource in many places and Germany has a worrying "imported water risk" for many commodities. Read more .
More than 70 percent of the earth is covered with water, but water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity for a growing world population. Read more .