Do you use as much water as a cricket field all by yourself?
A lot of the arguments surrounding the issue stem from the fact that a cricket field in our country requires watering with about “15,000-20,000 litres of non-potable water every day”.analysis Updated: Apr 13, 2016 20:18 IST
“People are dying and you want to maintain (cricket) pitches?” the Bombay high court asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India on April 6, after hearing an NGO’s petition against holding Indian Premier League matches while parts of the state battled severe drought.
A lot of the arguments surrounding the issue stem from the fact that a cricket field in our country requires watering with about “15,000-20,000 litres of non-potable water every day”.
According to the World Health Organisation, this amount of water would be enough to sustain 2,000-2,666 people for an entire day – considering that “a minimum of 7.5 litres per capita per day can meet the requirements for most people under most conditions”.
One could ask – as the high court has done – what is more important for a state: The lives of thousands of its people or the revenue generated through cricket matches.
But how much good does it do to blame one sport without first looking at how much water goes into making our lifestyles possible? Almost every single household item comes with a substantial water footprint – books, electronics, grocery, you name it. If we were to add the water embedded in each product we own – a mobile phone, a laptop, a television set or clothing — we could end up with a figure that is much larger than what goes into watering a cricket pitch every day.
If this idea seems preposterous, consider this: A simple breakfast of an egg sandwich needs more than 265 litres of water to manufacture, market and transport to your plate. Add to this your morning cup of coffee or tea, and the total cost in terms of water can come up to anywhere between 310 and 420 litres.
Do you own at least two pairs of jeans? That has cost you nearly 14,000 litres of water – about half the amount of water that goes into tending to the pitch in question. If you own a dog, feeding Fido costs you more than 6,000 litres every day. The figure is lower if you’re a cat parent – slightly over 2,000 litres.
Are you a book lover? Multiply each book you own by 650 litres of water. The A4 sheet that this article was drafted on required 10 litres to manufacture. The plastic bag you used for carrying your grocery home needed a little over a litre to make. You get the picture.
Play around with the sliders below to see for yourself if your lifestyle makes you spend as much as – or more than – a cricket pitch.
Data sources: www.waterfootprint.org, www.npr.org, World Wildlife Fund