I just came from lunch with one of my favorite (albeit often charmingly annoying) people, Joe Whitworth. Joe is a lawyer that abandoned the corporate track and instead has devoted his life to helping solve what he believes is perhaps the most serious problem that the planet faces – our quickly diminishing water supply. Joe runs a wonderful non-profit organization I am proud to support – The Freshwater Trust (www.thefreshwatertrust.org). The goal of The Freshwater Trust is to save our thirsty planet and dwindling fish populations with conservation, planning, and proper water management. And the stakes are quite high. Joe and many other experts agree that if the proper actions are not taken soon we could have water shortages that make problems like the current financial crisis and middle east wars seem tiny in comparison.
I was particularly suprised to learn how much water it takes to manufacture some of the common things we use and consume. A few of examples:
- It takes 31 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of wine.
- It takes 36 gallons of water to produce 1 cup of coffee.
- It takes 118 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of wheat.
- 237 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of rice.
- 594 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of cheese.
- 1857 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of beef.
- 1990 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of leather.
- 2867 gallons of water to produce a pair of blue jeans.
So here’s a simple idea. Give up buying bottled water, drink from the tap, and donate the few hundred dollars you save a year to The Freshwater Trust.