Less water, energy and waste

Food is priced according to its environmental footprint. It’s the summer and water is scarcer, so earlier that day, Jiro adapted his account settings to place more importance on the water footprint of the food he buys. His wearable technology takes this into consideration and recommends products that have a lower water footprint. 

Buying exactly what he needs also helps Jiro to minimise food and packaging waste, and the energy he uses to cook. Easy access to utility companies’ online portals mean Jiro has a good understanding of his energy and water usage, and he can see he is using less water than his neighbours – and well below his water footprint target. So, when he reviewed his dinner earlier, Jiro decided to treat himself to a more water-intensive luxury: asparagus.

Decentralised water supply and treatment

The fruit and vegetables Jiro buys are all grown in nearby vertical farms, created by repurposing old multi-storey car parks that became largely redundant with the advent of shared autonomous electric vehicles. The farms have low ground, carbon and water footprints. They utilise water that is harvested, treated and supplied locally.

Jiro’s apartment block captures and treats its own rainwater to supplement supply from the grid. Smart meters and rain sensors, linked to predictive data on usage, tell the system in the block how much water it should be storing and when is the best time to obtain it. Harvested water can be treated fairly simply on site – for either drinking, irrigating vertical gardens or flushing toilets – because more stringent regulations ensure there are many fewer chemicals in the environment at risk of leaching into water supplies. For example, cleaning and cosmetic products are now designed with fewer chemicals.

Late in the evening, when Jiro gets home from his football game, he checks his water usage – he’s still well under the summer-time 80-litre daily limit and it’s no longer peak-time - so he decides to have a bath rather than a shower. While it runs, he checks his online health portal. The system has reported his healthy meal and exercise back to his AI doctor and he’s earned credits he can spend himself or donate to a good cause. 

There’s also a message waiting for him. It’s from his teammates – congratulating him on scoring the winning goal.

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