Water footprint

Governor Crist was in Tallahassee celebrating Earth Day on Tuesday.
Among his observations was that the environment and economy are “inextricably linked,” as reported in the News-Press.

That includes its precious water – for all its uses, in all sectors.
I’m a big fan of Florida oranges, love aquatic south Florida in all its forms, drink my fair share of water from the tap, and enjoy a refreshing swim in the algal-free Gulf.

We’ve heard and read a lot about “calculating your carbon footprint.”

But what about your water footprint?

In Florida, the number is around 160 gallons per person per capita. It changes from community to community, and household to household — and its only an estimate to be sure. But that’s as good a number as any.

That adds up to a little over 1/6th an acre-foot over the course of a year, 1.4 to be exact.

That’s about the size of a football field filled with 2-3 inches of water.

Click here to view a brief history of earth day from the EPA’s website, or you can read a very nice piece on the history of earth day in our very own Tallahassee Democrat. Their thesis — and title: “On this Earth Day, Thank a Legislator“.

Or check the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida-specific retrospetive on the day, courtesy of guest columnist Jack Davis, professor of history from the University of Florida.

Side note:
Looking at the stadium sort of has my mind slipping towards football season. Football season is a lot like the water cycle these days: Both are a year-around endeavor. And the eyes of those fans have been transfixed on south Florida as of late . . . no not on Lake Okeechobee, . . . but on the Miami Dolphins.
The Fish (as they are locally called) have the first pick of the NFL rookie draft this weekend.
But Bill Parcells pulled a quick one on the league: the Dolphins pre-signed Michigan lineman Jake Long to a pre-draft deal. That’s unusual, but smart: Parcells got what he wanted, didn’t pay and arm and a leg, did it on his terms.
He would have been a heck of a watershed manager if football hadn’t got him first.

Go Dolphins!
And Go South Florida Watersheds!

Corrections in red: In my original post I had forgotten to convert gallons to cubic feet by dividing by 7.48. A classic blunder when doing unit conversions. Still, a football field is a nice way to conceptualize an acre-foot of water, even if you don’t drink a full one per year.

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