Today, 15 October, is Blog Action Day 2010 when thousands of bloggers around the world all write a post about one important topic. After the success of the 2008 initiative when bloggers looked at Poverty, and last year's look at Climate Change, this year the topic under discussion is Water, with the aim of focussing world attention on the severity of the global water problem.
Several days ago I started doing a little research on the Internet for this post and within minutes had stumbled upon a series of alarming statistics about water consumption right here in Italy. In fact, in spite of being a considerably smaller country, Italy lags only a little behind the United States in the league table of world champion water guzzlers! At a time when almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water, studies have shown that in daily living Italians use about 380 litres of water every single day, but when the amount of water used to make the food we eat, such as pizza and pasta, or even the clothes we wear, are factored into the total, water consumption is roughly 17 times higher!
The water footprint of a nation refers to the total amount of water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of that nation. The total water footprint of a country is divided into two parts: the part of the footprint that falls within the country (the internal water footprint) and the part of the footprint that presses on other countries in the world (external water footprint). And it would appear that Italy is leaving an extremely large water footprint on the planet right now. Did you know, for example, that to make a standard Pizza Margherita about 1,200 litres of water are required, whilst a kilo of pasta has a water footprint of 1,900 litres of water?
With water resources scarce in the South of the country and on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and with the situation likely to worsen over the next few years, water should be seen as a future emergency in Italy too and one that needs to be addressed now.
Sources used in this post:
- Image © GDS Digital - Creative Commons
- Italy: No more pizza, no more pasta?
- Water usage in Italy
- Italy holds the Record of Water Consumption
Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.