by Amanda Sotolongo, IX Water intern
Did you know that it requires twice as much water to make a plastic water bottle than the bottle actually holds? This is because there is a lot of water waste in manufacturing. It takes 22 gallons of water to make one pound of plastic! We use so much plastic in things like containers, bags, and bottles, and it takes water to produce all of it. This means millions of tons of plastic, and hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water are used each year, and much of that water is not recycled. All cotton clothes made by traditional factory methods require a lot of water to first grow the cotton, then dye the fabric, then process the different fashionable “washes” such as those used on jeans. It can take 2,000 gallons of water to process the cotton for one pair of jeans! Technological devices can take even more because they require a lot of water for the extra steps like mining for medals, synthesizing chemicals, and mechanically assembling a variety of small parts. An average cell phone requires 3,190 gallons of water. A car can take even more, ranging from 13,000 – 22,000 gallons of water (500 gallons per tire).
Water is a vital element to produce almost every household item, but it is largely unrecognized. There are many other factors to consider when assessing a person’s average water use, but it is estimated that the average person in a developed country consumes 1,800 gallons per day. This makes one reconsider how they use water and what is done with this vital resource. To calculate your water footprint you can go to https://www.watercalculator.org/footprint/the-hidden-water-in-everyday-products/
To process and manufacture everyday goods, the chemicals that are used in the mechanical processes can be very toxic and every country has its own disposal regulations. To get around these regulations, many companies use clean water to dilute the pollutants then release them into the factory’s plumbing, which end up in surface waters like neighboring lakes and streams, or just into pipes which flow directly into surface waters. (The horribly wrong old “dilution is the solution to pollution” ploy.) This is a contributor to the exploding environmental crisis that plagues our planet’s water resources.
IX Power Clean Water (aka IX Water), has new technology to treat and clean the wastewater from factories that make everything from jeans to cell phones. Reusing and cleaning this water would save millions of gallons of fresh water per year, and save the environment from the effects of many hazardous chemicals and organic waste. It is important to spread awareness and advocate for clean water solutions like those offered by IX Water.