Mailbag: Water footprint?

Here’s a question from Beatrice in Duluth,Minnesota:

I’ve been hearing a lot about living closer to the land and conserving water. What’s the best way for me to calculate my “water footprint?”

That’s an excellent question, Beatrice – and perfect timing too!

Not too long ago I ventured off deep into the swamp with the very same question in mind when – low and behold – my boot got stuck in the muck of a dry season low-water hole, better known in these parts as “dry season refugia.”

Not to worry: There weren’t any gators in sight and just as quickly I was able to pull my boot free.


That’s when I noticed the deep print my foot left behind in the muck ever so slowly begin to fill with water.

By my calculations – 12 inches long by 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep – my footprint eventually filled up about 300 square inches of water, or in more common volumetric terms: About 5 quarts.

Incidentally, that equates to exactly how much water I drink per day in the hot Florida sun.

– Just not out of my swampy boot print!


Send your water questions to The South Florida Watershed Journal: “If it’s wet, flows downhill, or falls from the sky – we’re generally interested!”

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