We’ve been so impressed with the innovative solutions that have come from the HYDRO DYNAMICSSM  season, and we know many of you are continuing to develop your Projects for upcoming events, the Global Innovation Award, and even bringing your ideas to the market!

We wanted to make you aware of some resources – including the Water Footprint Calculator, which was included in this year’s Challenge Guide. The calculator is a free online tool that was created by the GRACE Communications Foundation.

The folks at GRACE Communications Foundation interacted with a few of our teams this season and were excited to learn that they were listed as a resource in the Challenge Guide. One team approached them about a concept for a phone app that educates kids about water conservation using characters and games. The team shared their well-produced artwork with the organization, and said they’re making plans to develop their app.

Another team they met with is focused on educating people about the water footprint of their food through food labels. Through their discussion, the team learned about previous and current food labeling programs, and they received tips about refining their Project by examining existing legislation.

Why would an organization focused on the food system create a water calculator? It turns out that the largest portion of our water footprint comes from the food we eat. Growing crops requires a lot of water, and growing feed for animals like cattle, pigs, and chickens requires even more. This is called virtual water use – the water that we don’t see but is required to grow our food, make electricity and manufacture all the products that we buy.

The Water Footprint Calculator isn’t just limited to food; it illustrates how everyday actions – from washing dishes to watering the lawn to buying groceries – impact how much water we use. The calculator even provides 100+ ways to cut back on water use.

Here are some additional resources from the GRACE Communications Foundation that may be helpful as you continue to work on your Project: