The severe drought affecting central Suffolk County and western New York is a reminder that no part of the country is immune [“Severe drought in Suffolk,” News, July 29].

Water managers from 40 U.S. states anticipate at least some form of water shortage within the next decade.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

These water crises mean we need to use water as efficiently as possible and reduce waste. To do so, we first need to know how much water we use every day, and most of us have no idea.

The new Water Footprint Calculator on our website, gracelinks.org, helps people figure out their water use through simple questions about their daily routines. The calculator accounts for not just how much water we use from the tap, but also the water it takes to produce the food we eat, the energy we use and the products we buy. This is called virtual water, and it is by far the biggest part of our water footprint.

The typical American uses about 2,200 gallons of water a day. The choices we make to waste less water today can help ensure there’s enough for all of us now and in the future.

Kyle Rabin, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is director of programs with Grace Communications Foundation, a nonprofit environmental advocate.