What’s Behind the Coming Water Crisis?

arjen quoteWater crisis are the biggest global risk we face between now and 2025 according to World Economic Forum.

Water scarcity isn’t just about water to drink and grow food but water to produce energy, to provide materials for housing, water for clothes, paper, cars, electronics and everything else.

When I talk about how we need water to make anything in schools, I ask the kids to use their water vision to find something that doesn’t need water to make. No one has succeeded yet.

When it comes to water scarcity the ‘rhino in the room’ is the ocean-sized consumption of hidden or virtual water consumed to grow food and make stuff.

On average North Americans have a water footprint of 8000 litres of water per person per day. Carrying that amount water would be like hauling 5 or 6 cars every day.

Of this 8000 litres (2,000 gallons), only 300 to 400 l of this is comes out of our taps for drinking, washing, cooking or flushing. The rest — the 7500 l is hidden in for the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the things we buy.


This hidden water is also called virtual water. It is the water consumed to grow things or make stuff. By consumed I mean that 7500 we consume each day is water that can’t be used for anything else. This is water that evaporated, remains polluted or cannot be reused in a reasonable time frame.

— Excerpt from 2016 presentation based on the award-winning book Your Water Footprint by Stephen Leahy.



Author Stephen Leahy to Speak at Canadian Club Feb 18

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Canadian Club of Halton Peel to host award-winning international environmental journalist Stephen Leahy at the Oakville Conference Centre 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

 Stephen, author of “Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use To Make Everyday Products”, will show how our entire society runs on water NOT oil. 

Copies of Your Water Footprint will be offered for sale by Different Drummer Books and Stephen will be happy to sign them.

Oakville Conference Centre: 2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville, Ontario (QEW & Bronte Rd.), L6L 6P8

Registration/Cash Bar 6 pm; Dinner 7 pm     Members $35   Non-Members $45   Students $20  (cash, cheques, debit, Visa & MasterCard)

For information & reservations, contact Barry Wylie, President, at barrywylie1@gmail.com or (905) 827-6302.

Cheques payable to The Canadian Club of Halton Peel with the name(s) of the attendee(s) can be mailed to: Canadian Club of Halton Peel 283 River Side Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6K 3N3

Please notify us of a cancellation by Tuesday, February 16.

Your Water Footprint Author and Speaker

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As an award-winning journalist and author of “Your Water Footprint”, winner of Best Science Book for the General Public,  I’ve given dozens of talks and presentations on environmental issues including water, climate, energy, biodiversity and more.

My back story:

In the midst of a successful corporate career I changed direction to pursue my growing interest in writing, science, conservation and the environment. Over the past 20+ years I’ve written more than 2000 articles on science and environmental topics around the world for National Geographic, the Guardian, New Scientist, IPS, and many more.

For some of this work I was fortunate enough to receive the prestigious Prince Albert/United Nations Global Prize for Climate Change and Environment Reporting.

%22your water footprint%22 reviewsIn late 2014 my first book was published:  Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts Behind Our Thirst for Earth’s Most Precious Resource.   Reviewers called the book “brilliant and shocking” and “exceptionally lucid”.  And then it won the award for best science book in Canada.

I’ve done presentations for all ages and backgrounds including kindergarten kids and scientists in California, journalists in South Africa, public officials in Spain, general public in Idaho, teachers and business executives in Toronto.

 For more info please use this contact form.

“The Walrus Talks brings Canada’s brightest minds to theatres across the country to talk about the biggest issues facing our country.  Stephen Leahy has been a welcome addition to the series, and a favourite of our audiences. He’s able to make complex issues seem simple without taking anything away from the urgency and importance of his message. This quality makes his presentations guaranteed
– David Leonard, Director of Events, the Walrus Foundation

Book Now for 2017!

Selected Previous Appearances

Canadian Club of Halton Peel — Oakville Conference Centre

Keynote Speaker 2015 Palouse Basin Water Summit – Pullman, Washington

MUSE talks – Calabasas, California

Walrus Talks Water — Victoria, B.C.

 Ribbon at the Lower Don Festival celebrating the PAN AM Games   — Toronto

Durham EcoSchool Teachers workshop 

Walrus Talks Water -Halifax, Nova Scotia  

 Urban Watershed Festival  — Toronto

 “Water for Life” – Oshawa, Ontario

H2Awesome — 900 Grade 8 Students – Guelph High Schools

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Photo Credit: GuelphToday.com

 To contact me please use this contact form.

Stephen Leahy


International Environmental Journalist

Co-Winner of the United Nations Global Prize for Climate Change ReportingSteve headshot

Stephen has been an independent journalist for over 20 years and has reported on environmental issues from dozens of countries. He has been published in many leading publications around the world including National Geographic, New Scientist, The London Sunday Times, The Guardian, Vice Magazine,  Al Jazeera, Maclean’s Magazine, Earth Island Journal, DeSmog Canada, The Toronto Star, Wired News, China Dialogue, Mo Magazine (Europe), TerraGreen (India), and Common Dreams.

Based near Toronto,  he is also the senior science and environment correspondent for the Rome-headquartered Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), the world’s largest not-for-profit global news agency. IPS articles are published in over 500 newspapers and magazines all over the world reaching an estimated 200 million readers in up to 20 languages. IPS news is also broadcast by over 1000 radio stations, potentially targeting over 150 million listeners.

Stephen also contributes to IPS affiliates in Montevideo, Johannesburg and New Delhi.

Stephen on Walrus TV: “We don’t realize our entire society runs on water. It doesn’t run on oil”

Interview on CTV Halifax morning show

Stephen’s talk: Inside The International Climate Treaty Negotiations 

His journalism also appears on a wide range of news networks including Reuters AlertNet, DeSmog Blog, TerraViva, InfoSud, Rabble.ca, Common Dreams and more.

Prior to journalism, Stephen had a successful career in the private sector. He is currently a Fellow at the International League of Conservation Writers and professional member of the International Federation of JournalistsSociety of Environmental Journalists. A co-winner of the 2012 Prince Albert/United Nations Global Price for Climate Change and Environment Reporting.

Hundred’s of Stephen’s articles are freely available on his main website.  These cover topics ranging from climate change to food production to nano tech.

main website scnshotTo contact Stephen please use the form below: