The idea of technical nutrients recycling through the technosphere (see my blog on Planet thoughts) brings me to think of the latest talk going on about water. There is a lot of ranting about for example Britain importing water via clothes and food (the water being “used” in the manufacturing process in other countries). This leads to talk about water footprint of a nation.
This is a little missleading as carbon footprint is understood as the carbon being emitted and untretreiveable. Not so for water.
Water COULD be recycled many times over. In fact the equation for a nation is easy.
(Water removed (i.e. left into the sea)= Water input from rain and rivers)/year
The number of times it is recycled depends on needs. Its an example of narrow understanding to think that water can only be “used” once. Dangerous thinking. It means it is acceptable to pollute water. It is THIS that is totally wrong. The 10,000 litres used to make jeans is nothing you need to feel guilty over IF it goes back to be used in other functions. If it is used for jeans and people go thirsty that’s a crime against Human Rights. See more on water and footprint at PLANET THOUGHTS