When you think of water, what comes to mind? That you drink it, swim in it, bathe in it, and cook and clean with it. But there is so much more to water, and some of it may surprise you. Lets dive in and take a look!
Water of the Earth
There are plenty of interesting numbers in water:
- 7% of the world’s water is frozen, making it relatively inaccessible for us.
- 68.7% of the Earth’s fresh water is trapped in glaciers.
- Speaking of frozen waters, the Antarctic has been covered in ice for more than 30 million years. At this moment, it is covered by 10 thousand trillion tons of snow and ice!
- Everywhere that there is liquid water on Earth, there is life. Even if that water is nearly boiling, frozen, or skin-burningly acidic.
- There is about the same amount of water on Earth now as there was millions of years ago.
- The amount of water on the Earth is equivalent to 800 trillion filled Olympic swimming pools.
- 97% of the Earth’s water is salty, 2.1% is locked in polar ice caps, and less than 1% is easily available to us as fresh water.
Water of the People
We all know we need water to survive, but just how much do we need and for what?
- The average person can live about a month without food, but will survive less than a week without any water.
- Children in the first 6 months of life consume 7 times as much water per pound as the average American adult.
- Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day.
- It takes about 12 gallons of water per day to sustain a human, including what we use to cook, clean, and drink.
- Each day, the average person loses a little more than a cup of water by exhaling it.
- Chicken and goat are the least water-intensive meats to consume.
- Water makes up 66% of the human body!
Water for Production
How much water do we actually use for cooking and production? The numbers may surprise you!
- It takes 40 gallons of water to make just one pint of beer.
- Enough cotton to make a shirt and pair of jeans needs 2,650 gallons of water to produce.
- It takes up to 4,000 gallons of water to produce just 2 pounds of beef.
- To make 2 slices of bread, it takes 25 gallons of water and another 20 gallons to make the cheese that would go on your sandwich.
- For you to get that great cup of coffee, it takes 50 gallons of water to produce enough coffee beans for just one cup.
There are many ways that our water usage is just too much.
- 1 in 6 gallons of water leak from utility pipes before reaching consumers in the US.
- Americans use 5.7 billion gallons of water per day just from flushing toilets. Each time you flush the toilet, you use 2 gallons of water.
- The average family of 4 uses 180 gallons of water per day in the yard. It is also estimated that over 50% is wasted from evaporation, wind, or overwatering.
- The average pool takes 22,000 gallons of water to fill.
- Just filling the bathtub uses up to 70 gallons of water.
- Taking a five-minute shower uses 50 gallons of water.
Ways We Can Conserve Water
With so much water going to waste, here are some fun facts on how we can conserve some of that water:
- If everyone in the United States used just one less gallon of water per shower every day, we could save around 85 billion gallons of water per year.
- If everyone in the US flushed the toilet just one less time per day, we could save a lake full of water about one mile long, one mile wide, and four feet deep.
There are more water facts where these came from, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. Just one simple step in being more conscious of the water you use could literally save millions of gallons of water for years to come. So shorten that shower and truly enjoy that cup of coffee!
If you want more interesting water facts, check out Advanced Water Solution’s brief history of water treatment here!