“Do you know how much water it takes to grow your evening meal?”

Everything in your house has its water footprint... (c) Valentien Goethals

In Belgium, the daily water footprint of one citizen is 7.500 liters, which is almost double the worldwide average. Most of that water usage is invisible and comes from production processes for our food, clothing, energy, etc. To address this problem, Join For Water developed the ‘Water House’ (Waterhuis), a portable installation formed like a little house that offers an approachable way for people to learn about their water footprint.

The Water House is made up of an array of information panels that give information about the problems that come with indirect water usage, as well as about possible and easy solutions. One of the panels explains, for example, how cotton cultivation is causing the Aral Lake in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to dry up, and which alternatives one has with regards to sustainable clothing.

Via interactive tools, passersby can calculate their water footprint, make a commitment to save water and watch videos on the topic. Both younger people and adults receive useful and fun advice on how to live more water-consciously, and Join For Water even provides educational material for schools that want to elaborate on the theme of indirect water usage with their students.

Throughout the years, the concept has attracted a lot of interest from municipalities, as the Water House now tours through Flanders, making two- to four-week stops at city halls, public libraries, and community centers.