Embedded water: Ecological impact by volume

Posted by Ian on Mar 19, 2009 in blog | No Comments

Companies have, for years, been effectively shipping water around the world. A new effort to work on the ecological sustainability of product marketing by companies such as Unilever has focused on the issue of embedded water in products. Embedded water is the amount of water that both is in a product or is required to produce a product. For example, there are 140 litres of embedded water in one cup of coffee. Or there are 10,850 litres of embedded water in every pair of jeans.
To address the energy expended both in using this water and shipping extra water around the globe (such as in oversized bottles of Persil – seen above), companies are beginning to look into localising and limiting their water use.
This may be welcome news for some eco-warriors, but for cities such as Perth (one of the quickest drying cities) who are experiencing steady decreases in water year by year, increased demands both by consumers and by industrial manufacturers locally may pose more of a burden to their local environment than a boon.
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