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'Water footprint' as pressing as carbon dioxide emissions

Forget your carbon footprint - if you want to be environmentally chic you need to be concerned about your water footprint.

Worries over how much greenhouse gas is being created to fulfil our everyday needs are being rivalled by fears of the human race's use of what is a finite, essential resource.

While New Zealand's agrarian industries use a lot of water, scientists say its overall situation should place it in good stead as retailers start to consider how much water is needed to make and transport the products they sell.

Plant and Food Research scientist Brent Clothier said the water issue was still five to 10 years behind that of carbon, but "it's going to reach a crunch quicker than carbon".

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