Water, a precious resource

February 25, 2008

  • How much water does it take to process a quarter pound of hamburger? Approximately one gallon.
  • How long can a person live without food? More than a month
  • How long can a person live without water? Approximately one week, depending upon conditions.
  • How much water must a person consume per day to maintain health? 2.5 quarts from all sources (i.e., water, food)
  • How much water does a birch tree give off per day in evaporation? 70 gallons
  • How much water does an acre of corn give off per day in evaporation? 4,000 gallons

  • How much water is used to flush a toilet? 2-7 gallons
  • How much water is used in the average five-minute shower? 25-50 gallons
  • How much water is used to brush your teeth? 2 gallons
  • How much water is used on the average for an automatic dishwasher? 9-12 gallons
  • On the average, how much water is used to hand wash dishes? 20 gallons
  • How many community public water systems are there in the United States? 56,000
  • How much water do these utilities process daily? 34 billion gallons
  • Of the nation’s community water supplies, how many are investor-owned? 32,500
  • How much water does the average residence use during a year? 107,000 gallons
  • How much water does an individual use daily? 50 gallons
  • What does a person pay for water on a daily basis? National average is 25 cents
  • How much of the earth’s surface is water? 80%
  • Of all the earth’s water, how much is ocean or seas? 97%
  • How much of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable? 2%
  • How much of the earth’s water is suitable for drinking water? 1%
  • If all community water systems had to be replaced, what would it cost? In excess of $175 billion
  • What does it cost to operate the water systems throughout the country annually? Over $3.5 billion
  • How many gallons of water would it take to cover one square mile with one foot of water? 219 million gallons
  • How many gallons of water do you get per acre, when it rains one inch? 27,000 gallons per acre
  • How much of the human body is water? 66%
  • How much of a chicken is water? 75%
  • How much of a pineapple is water? 80%
  • How much of a tomato is water? 95%
  • How much of an ear of corn is water? 80%
  • How much water does it take to process one chicken? 11.6 gallons
  • How much water does it take to process one can of fruit or vegetables? 9.3 gallons
  • How much water does it take to process one barrel of beer? 1,500 gallons
  • How much water does it take to process one ton of cane sugar to make processed sugar? 28,100 gallons
  • How much water does it take to process one ton of beet sugar to make processed sugar? 33,100 gallons

Humans have available less than 0.08% of all the Earth’s water. Yet over the next two decades our use is estimated to increase by about 40%.

In 1999 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that 200 scientists in 50 countries had identified water shortage as one of the two most worrying problems for the new millennium (the other was global warming).

We use about 70% of the water we have in agriculture. But the World Water Council believes that by 2020 we shall need 17% more water than is available if we are to feed the world.

Sources: http://ct.water.usgs.gov/education/trivia.htm, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/755497.stm

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