Invisible water, a huge impact

Did you know that producing a pair of jeans can take up to 6 tons of water? You may not realize it, but in inside the things we wear, eat and use every day there is a lot of ‘invisible water’. In this way, as end users we indirectly affect water resources throughout the world.

Research shows that more than 95 percent of the water used comes from outside your home. Today, in many countries, water is used up much faster than nature can replenish it. Without changes in behaviors and business practices, by 2030 demand for water will be 40% greater than supply.

Concepts such as ‘invisible water’ and water footprint are still relatively new in China. Still, almost all products we use, not only food products but also clothing and electrical appliances for example, cost a lot of water to produce. Irene Guo, Media and Communications Manager at Thirst, mentions that it takes 1,5 tons of ‘invisible water’ to produce a laptop. “So adapting or changing production processes can greatly reduce the amount of ‘invisible water’ being used and protect our water resources better.”

Thirst is an initiative of Mina Guli, one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders. It is a China based non-profit organization that educates children on invisible water and focuses on affecting change in society by making consumers aware of the value of water.

Ms. Guo recognizes that the Netherlands has a long history in water management and conservation. In her opinion, this creates many possibilities for cooperation: "Regarding water protection and water conservation, the Netherlands sets an impressive example. Thirst hopes to convey some of the Dutch innovations and educational aspects of the Netherlands’ water use to the Chinese younger people.”

The Embassy Open Day, taking place on June 24, will be an event where Thirst can improve public awareness about these topics. Thirst will organize several activities for children during the Open Day. From learning how to filter water to guessing how much water is used to make one T-shirt. Interested to find out more? You can find the program for our Open Day online.