Water scarcity is a serious global issue and yet, many people are unaware of how their own actions and behaviors contribute to the problem. Siemens is on a mission to help people gain awareness of their water consumption and take steps to reduce it.

What’s a water footprint?

Your own personal water footprint is the amount of freshwater used (both directly and indirectly) in everything you consume. Direct consumption includes the water you drink or use to take a shower. Indirect consumption refers to the water used to produce, grow and manufacture the items you consume and/or use. For example, to create one pint of beer actually takes 20 gallons of water.

Calculating your water footprint

Obviously, doing the calculation yourself would be a pretty daunting task. So Siemens created a Facebook application to do it for you. Plus, using the application, you can compare your number with that of your friends to inspire a little healthy competition.

To get started, just visit http://apps.facebook.com/watercalculator. Follow the prompts to input your personal information including where you live, the size of your home, the number of people in your home and the typical activities in which you engage (for example, how often do you wash your car?). From there, you’ll go to another page where you can further elaborate on your water usage behaviors.

Once you’ve completed the short input form, your total water consumption is calculated and plotted on a graph so you can see how you compare with the average in your country. Be sure to post the results to your wall so you can show off to all your friends! You can even promote water usage awareness by inviting others to take the quiz as well.

At that point, you’re given the option to make a few water conservation commitments for yourself. This is a great way to set tangible goals for reducing your water footprint. For example, you can commit to taking shorter showers or make the decision to purchase an Energy Star certified appliance. The savings achieved through your commitments will be calculated and added to the total savings of everyone who has used the application, helping to contribute to the total goal of $100,000,000 saved.

If you’re curious about the impact your daily routines have on the world’s water supply, take a few minutes to use this fun, interactive calculator. It’s easy, fast, and you may discover something new.