Displaying water inputs on consumer items is an idea floated frequently, but is it any closer to becoming reality?
That 130 litres of water goes into making your average coffee is a statistic that amazes most people. Even more surprising is that hardly anyone, even in the business community, has the foggiest idea how much water goes into manufacturing our favourite consumer products, from field to factory.
Seeking to address the dearth of information on the water required to produce a single product, from ready meals and soft drinks to t-shirts and electronic items, a variety of organisations have over the years floated the idea of water footprint labelling.
The general premise is that quantifying water inputs, like nutritional and calorie labels on food items, will help to influence purchasing habits, encouraging consumers to resist highly water intensive products. It would incentivise product manufacturers to scale back unnecessary waste and awaken consumer consciousness about water insecurity.