Answer To These Questions Below
1. Rough models are used in the calculation of footprints.
2. Specifics and details taken into account for footprint.
a) Water Use (whole) vs. Ag Consumption/Individual’s Consumption
3. What does the footprint actually mean?
The definition of ecological footprint is the land and water area a human population would hypothetically require in order to maintain provide the resources required to support the human population within a defined area and its ability to absorb its wastes production. In order to figure out the footprint the value of consumed goods is converted into physical area. The consumption of goods such as energy, food, water, building material and other consumables is transformed into acreage in global hectares (GHA) per capita. The acreage is assumed to be the area reflective the amount of land required to provides the earlier mentioned goods, or services. This means that the amount of water that is incorporated into the model the amount of water used in agriculture and the amount of water that is consumed by an individual.
Knowing the ecological footprint provides a reference point which stands as an indication for the amount of ecological burden being placed on a limited resource, regardless of whether or not the resources is renewable or not. If a resource is renewable the ecological footprint stands as a suggestion as to the amount of pressure being placed on “recharge” time of that particular resource, e.g. wood products. Ecological footprint can be also seen as chronicle marker. This aids in our understanding, “it’s not just what we are using, but also how much and how fast a resource is being diluted over a period of space and time.”
However, the reliability of calculating the ecological footprints does come into question because some of the assumptions it makes are inaccurate. This is largely due to the fact that the models that are used are largely based upon the simplifying estimates and assumptions. Furthermore, some of the models are largely based on the lifestyle index and economics of the Western Hemisphere, particular in the United States. So this may be a precaution to the fact that ecological footprinting models may not be applicable to all places. It is perhaps this reason that the number of planets calculated in the Ecofoot.com site may have differed so much when a different state was chosen.