Blog: EPA Gives Water Footprint Calculator its Highest Award

A blog by Peter Hanlon, director of GRACE Communications Foundation's water and energy programmes.

It’s been a year since GRACE relaunched its Water Footprint Calculator, and the good news keeps flowing. We just learned that the tool was selected to receive a 2016 Environmental Champion Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (Region 2). The agency describes it as “the highest recognition presented to the public by the EPA,” and so on May 13th, the day of the awards ceremony, we’ll be honored to be stand alongside several other businesses, government, nonprofits, community groups and educators selected this year.

On World Water Day in March the Water Footprint Calculator was also featured by the White House for its first-ever Water Summit, which served as the official launch day for the new Spanish-language Water Footprint Calculator. This is the first and only online Spanish-language version of a water footprint calculator focused on the US.

Since the Water Footprint Calculator’s initial launch eight years ago, hundreds of thousands of users have calculated their water footprint and used our 100-plus (and growing) collection of tips to help cut back on how much water they use every day. This free tool illustrates how everyday actions – from washing dishes to watering the lawn – impact water use. But the calculator accounts for not just the water we use from the tap, it adds up the water it takes to produce the food we eat, the energy we use and the products we buy. We may never see this “virtual” water, but it goes into nearly everything we buy and use every day.

The first step towards solving any problem is to show individuals the role that they can play. By understanding water use and seeing that even small changes can have a big impact on personal water footprints, people can become better stewards of our Nation’s most precious natural resource.

© 2016 GRACE Communications Foundation