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Water Trivia

Each of us has a role in keeping our water safe to drink. Just as "green thumb" people know how to care for plants, people with "blue thumbs" know how to take care of water. We challenge you to show off your "blue thumb" and take action to conserve and protect our water resources every day. To help you learn more about water, here are some interesting facts:

How Much Water Do We Use?


Taking a bath or shower 15-30
Watering the lawn and yard 180
Washing the dishes by machine/hand 14-60
Washing clothes 50
Washing the car 108
Brushing your teeth 1
Flushing the toilet (once) 3-5
Leaking toilet (per day) 60
 Cooking  10
 Drinking  1/2


How Much Water Does it Take
to Produce One Serving?

Gallons of Water

Corn 61
Lettuce 6
French Fries 6
Tomatoes 3
Apples 16
Cantaloupe 51
Cherries 90
Oranges 22
Watermelon 100
Wheat bread 15
Rice 36
Almonds 12
Margarine 92
Sugar (from beets) 8
Milk 65
Cola Soft Drink 10
Coffee 37
Tea 9
Wine 32
Beer 20
Steak 2,607
Hamburger 1,303
Pork (1 pound) 756
Chicken(1 pound) 469
Sausage (1 pound) 1382
Fresh Cheese (1 pound) 371
Eggs 136
Typical Breakfast 209
Typical Lunch 1,427
Typical Dinner 2,897
A day's meals (total for one person) 4,533

Did you know...?

  • One gallon of water weighs approximately 8.3 pounds.
  • Of all the earth's water, 97% is salt water.
  • Only 1% of the earth's water is available for drinking water, and another 2% is frozen in the polar ice caps.
  • Of the 1% of available fresh water, only 1% is in lakes, rivers, wetlands, plants, animals, and the atmosphere. The other 99% is in the soil and aquifers.
  • On nearly every continent, aquifers are being drained faster than they are being recharged.
  • About two-thirds of the human body is water. Some parts of the body contain more than others. For example, 70% of your skin is water.
  • You can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
  • A person should consume 2 1/2 quarts of water per day (from all sources of water, food, etc.) to maintain health.
  • You lose 2 1/2 to 3 quarts of water per day through normal elimination, sweating, and breathing. If you exercise or live in a humid climate, you may lose another quart.
  • A dairy cow must drink 4 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.
  • An average of 816,600 gallons of water will be used during the life of a single cow or steer.
  • Each person uses about 100 gallons of water a day at home.
  • An automatic dishwasher uses approximately 9 to 12 gallons of water, while hand washing can use up to 20 gallons.
  • A five-minute shower takes between 15 and 25 gallons of water.
  • In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that drinking water is safe for human consumption. The act requires public water systems to monitor and treat drinking water for safety.
  • Typically, less than 1% of the treated drinking water produced by utilities is actually consumed by people. Most goes to lawns, showers, tubs and toilets, etc.
  • 85% of all landscape problems are due to overwatering. A properly designed and operated irrigation system can reduce water use by 20% or more each year.
  • Typically, households consume at least 50% of their water by watering lawns. Inside, toilets use most of the water, with an average of 27 gallons per person per day.
  • More than 79,000 tons of chlorine are used per year in the United States and Canada to treat water.
  • There are more than 56,000 community water systems providing water to the public in the United States.
  • Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.
  • Approximately 1 million miles of pipeline and aquaducts carry water in the United States and Canada. That's enough to circle the earth 40 times.
  • About 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing programs.
  • More than 13 million households get their water from their own private wells and are responsible for treating and pumping water themselves.
  • Industries released about 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.
  • The average daily requirement for fresh water in the United States is about 40 billion gallons a day, in addition to about 300 billion gallons used untreated for agricultural and commercial purposes.
  • You can refill an 8-ounce glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda pop.
  • If every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.
  • One inch of rainfall drops 7,000 gallons, or nearly 7 tons of water, on a 60 foot by 180 foot piece of land (about 1/4 of an acre).
  • 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day's supply of U.S. newsprint.
  • 2,900 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pair of blue jeans, and 766 gallons are needed to produce one cotton T-shirt.
  • 2,800 gallons of water are needed to produce a single cotton bed sheet.
  • The first municipal water filtration works opened in Paisley, Scotland, in 1832.


Fresh, clean drinking water is yours to use whenever you need it, but not to waste: it's too valuable!
A little effort and common sense will make a big difference.

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