Consumer Decisions
Step #6

Consumer Decisions

When thinking of the natural water cycle being challenged by our direct and indirect consumption, we should ask ourselves: What can I do to reduce my own water footprint and help to manage water for both people and nature?

One of the first things that are necessary to be understood is, that we all share freshwater in an open global economy, and that addressing local water scarcity demands for wise water governance in a global dimension.[1]

As stated in the Dublin principles, users, planners and policy-makers should be involved in decisions regarding water management. This further includes the task of ‘raising awareness of the importance of water among policy makers and the general public’. [2]

In general, participation is assumed to produce more effective and efficient, sustainable and equitable resource management. [3] In cases where the institutional sector cannot provide a proper framework for participation (e.g. in the case of economic water scarcity), national and international users are even more asked to adjust their behaviour in order to use our natural resources in a more sustainable way. This also includes that we open our minds and think of the indirect effects of our consumption and decisions in our daily life. Starting with decreasing our amount of fast fashion purchases, which is negatively affecting whole regions, and taking back the responsibility to our own regions and neighbourhoods while accepting to pay for our garments’ externalities.


  1. The water footprint of modern consumer society - A. Y. Hoekstra - 2013
  2. The Dublin Statement in Water and Sustainable Development - ICWE - 1992
  3. Reconciling IWRM and water delivery in Ghana – The potential and the challenges - N.A. Anokye, J. Gupta - 2012

Further Readings

Pulse of the Fashion Industry

Global Fashion Agenda & The Boston Consulting Group · 2017