How to Decrease Your Water Footprint This Summer

How to Decrease Your Water Footprint This Summer

Hot days ahead will call for refreshing H2O. Make the most of your water this sunny season by taking a closer look at your water footprint.

The season of sprinklers, ice water, and water balloon fights is almost upon us. If you’re mindful of the water crisis, this season presents a great opportunity to learn how to decrease your water footprint at home.

First of all, what does water have to do with feet? In a nutshell, your water footprint is all the water you use. This includes water used for drinking and bathing, but also extends to the water that is used to produce the goods and services you use.

Fun Fact: To get an idea of how many gallons of water you use daily, use a handy water footprint calculator online. The answer will probably surprise you!

So, if you’re ready to look at your water use more accurately and learn how to decrease your water footprint at home, keep reading.

Why Does My Water Footprint Even Matter?

Additionally, you may wonder what your water footprint has to do with the water crisis.

It’s no secret that decreasing your water footprint won’t directly impact those without clean water because of water scarcity. Obviously, any water you save doesn’t magically get shipped directly to them (one can dream!). However, have you heard of the butterfly effect?

The butterfly effect is the idea that seemingly small, trivial occurrences can have major impactsbased on the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings can eventually lead to a hurricane.

So, yeah, while the effects aren’t as direct as we’d like, doing your best to save water really does make a difference in the long run. We’re not kidding when we say every drop counts!

Without further ado, here are eight ways to reduce your water footprint.

Collect Rainwater

Those summer thunderstorms create the perfect opportunity for collecting rainwater. Leave out a large barrel or buckets and sit back to watch the storm. Once the sun shines again, you’ll have ample water for outdoor uses, like watering the garden or washing your car!

Eat Local Food

Farmer’s markets are in full swing in the summer. So, take the chance to stock up on totally fresh and delicious local food – and reduce your water footprint while you’re at it. This helps because water that would normally be used for transporting food long miles is spared. Keeping water close to where it’s from is always a good goal to aim for.

Use a Drip Irrigation System for Your Garden

Hand watering with a hose often uses excess water, which doesn’t even make it to the right place. Utilizing drip irrigation may take a little more work upfront, but will save you work in the long run on top of saving water. You can make your own using PVC pipe!

Take Shorter Showers

While long showers can be relaxing, they can also waste a ton of water. Instead of lingering in the shower spray, take advantage of pools, rivers, and lakes in the warmer weather to get a good dose of H2O this summer!

Take Baths

Even better, take a bath. The slower days of summer are all about relaxing. So, instead of your normal shower, take a bath for extra rest and relaxation!

Fix Your Leaks

Speaking of slower summer days, this might be a great time to finally finish some of those pesky tasks, like repairing leaky pipes. Even small leaks can waste more water than you’d think! As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about frozen pipes holding you back.

Fun Fact: Did you know using less water can help prevent leaks? As it turns out, all that water pressure can do a number on your pipes. This is just another perk of reducing your water use.

Cut Down on Processed Food

We mentioned eating more local food earlier. Even if you can’t access local food, swapping processed foods for whole foods is another way to decrease your water footprint. It’s no New Year’s resolution, but the summer is a great time to start focusing on eating healthier!

Processed food has a much bigger water footprint because of all the water used to prepare it, from pre-cooking food to cleaning equipment used in production. For example, the water footprint of potato chips is 125 gallons, while the water footprint of whole potatoes is only 35 gallons per pound.


Recycling may seem like an indirect way to conserve water, but it can actually make a big impact! Recycling just one pound of paper can save around 3.5 gallons of water. When you recycle, you drastically reduce the use of copious amounts of water needed to produce new products.

Now That You Know How To Decrease Your Water Footprint at Home, What Will You Do?

These eight tips for reducing your water footprint are only useful if you put them into action! Make a plan to implement as many as you can, whenever you can. Every small step helps eliminate water scarcity.

How Are You Going to Use These Tips?

Let’s start a conversation in the comments!

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Wells of Opportunity: Spotlight on Mung’una

Wells of Opportunity: Spotlight on Mung'una

The connection between clean water and education may not always be apparent, but it is crucial. Without clean water, community members, often women and children, face challenging journeys to access contaminated water sources, leading to illness and frequent school absences. This scarcity of clean water also limits opportunities for meaningful work and economic advancement in water-stressed communities. In essence, clean water is a foundation for both education and life.

Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of WorldServe donors and the dedicated team in Tanzania, a positive change is unfolding in a small community in the Singida Region. During a visit to Mnung’una last fall, our team discovered that 30% of the community’s 2,200 residents are primary school students. Recognizing the impact on children, providing sustainable clean water became a significant priority.

The completion of the borehole in December 2023 marked a transformative moment. Students could return to school in larger numbers and better health, free from the daily burden of seeking water. Beyond the youth, the borehole is elevating the entire community by supporting the well-being of people, nourishing animals, and fostering flourishing gardens.

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, the people of Mnung’una view their well not just as a source of water but as a Well of Opportunity, positively impacting every aspect of their lives.

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