Carbon footprint of water
Sometimes it is hard to understand what the impact of water use has on the environment. We know that we should conserve water because it is not always in abundant supply. But the water we use, also has a carbon footprint. Just like our travel, what we eat, our heating system etc. The amount of water and its use – impacts the environment because of the energy required to either produce it or heat it. The CO2 cost of water is 80% what we do with it in our homes. All of our water use adds up.
There are many stages in the domestic water use cycle, each of which has its own energy requirements. First, water is transferred from its source to a treatment plant where solids are removed. Water is filtered and disinfected to meet EPA and European standards. The water is then distributed throughout the community through pipes to our homes, where it is heated for many uses. After water is used, the wastewater is treated before it returns to the environment. The most energy-intensive part of the cycle is water use in the home. This energy intensity of water – is the amount of energy used per unit of water.
I will look at my use of water over the coming days and weeks to determine the carbon footprint of my water-related activities in the home – where the greatest cost lies.