Fast Water Facts

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Many of us are thinking about water a lot more than we used to.  It’s easy to think it’s impossible to run out of water if you live in a wet area, but potable water really is a very limited resource.  If you live somewhere dry or with heavy pollution problems, you’ll probably not be surprised.  Most people don’t know this, however.  If you’re among them, these fast facts about water might tell you something you didn’t know before.

Nearly seventy percent of the fresh water on the planet is used to grow food, and plants and animals used for other purposes.  It’s not consumed by industry, people, or other uses.  However, this consumption could be reduced simply by changing the way some crops are grown.

Cotton, for instance, is notorious for excess water use.  A single one acre corn field evaporates over four thousand gallons every day.  Somewhere between a hundred twenty and three hundred sixty gallons is required just to produce one pound of rice.  A single pound of beef requires more than two thousand gallons!  To grow a day’s food for the average family of four, nearly seven thousand gallons is needed.

Groundwater isn’t infinite, though it’s easy to think it is.  Well water comes from aquifers below the ground, and currently, we’re exceeding the rate it can be replenished.  Overpumping is pulling out more than a hundred sixty billion cubic meters more than is refilled each year.  While seventy-five percent of the planet is covered in water, only three percent of it is fresh water, and nine tenths of that is located in Antarctica.

Our excessive use and pollution of fresh water won’t just affect humans, either.  Freshwater animals are going extinct at a rate five times that of land animals, and part of that is because of water use and contamination.  A single gallon of gas can pollute more than seven hundred fifty thousand gallons of fresh water, and water becomes saline if a thousandth of it’s weight is composed of salt.  It’s very easy to render water unusable.

In many parts of the world, it’s very hard to get access to fresh water.  Most of the population of the earth uses the same amount per day as we use to flush a standard full sized toilet once – five gallons, and has to walk three hours to get it.  Around four thousand gallons are needed to build a car.  The US uses about three hundred fifty thousand gallons a day, or about a hundred to a hundred fifty gallons per person.  A lot of that consumption comes from flushing the toilet.

Other countries use different amounts.  The UK uses about forty gallons per person per day, and Australia, despite its dryness, uses around a hundred seventeen gallons per person per day.  Canada’s figures are similar to those of the US.  Compare that to places in Africa and India, where fresh water is hard to come by, and each person uses only a few gallons each day.

We need a lot of water to survive, and there’s not much of it to go around.  As chemicals and salinization continue, there’ll be even less.  It takes a lot of money and energy to make that water potable again.  Saving a few gallons here and there could actually make a big difference.  It’s not hard to do, and it’s not even difficult.  Find out what you can do to save a little more water in your daily life.

Related posts:

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  2. Light Pollution Facts
  3. Eco-Friendly Printing and Office Tips
  4. Green Living: Telecommuting and The Workplace
  5. What is Happening With Your Water?
  6. Take Care Of That Water Leak

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