earth's total allotment of water
has a volume of about 344 million
cubic miles. Of this:
315 million cubic miles
(93%) is sea water.
9 million cubic miles
(2.5%) is in aquifers deep below
the earth's surface.
7 million cubic miles (2%)
is frozen in polar ice caps.
53,000 cubic miles of
water pass through the planet's
lakes and streams.
4,000 cubic miles of water
is atmospheric moisture.
3,400 cubic miles of water
are locked within the bodies of
Most of the earth's surface water is
permanently frozen or salty.
Over 90% of the world's supply of
fresh water is located in Antarctica.
If all the world's water were fit
into a gallon jug, the fresh water
available for us to use would equal only
about one tablespoon.
It doesn't take much salt to make
water "salty." If one-thousandth (or more)
of the weight of water is from salt, then
the water is "saline."
Saline water can be desalinated for
use as drinking water by going through a
process to remove the salt from the water.
The process costs so much that it isn't
done on a very large scale. The cost of
desalting sea water in the U.S. ranges
from $1 to $16 per 1000 gallons.
The United States consumes water at
twice the rate of other industrialized
1.2 Billion -- Number of people
worldwide who do not have access to clean
6.8 Billion -- Gallons of water
Americans flush down their toilets every
Each day almost 10,000 children
under the age of 5 in Third World
countries die as a result of illnesses
contracted by use of impure water.
Most of the world's people must
walk at least 3 hours to fetch water.
By 2025, 52 countries -- with
two-thirds of the world's population --
will likely have water shortages.
The average single-family home uses
80 gallons of water per person each day in
the winter and 120 gallons in the summer.
Showering, bathing and using the toilet
account for about two-thirds of the
average family's water usage.
The average person needs 2 quarts
of water a day.
During the 20th century, water use
increased at double the rate of population
growth; while the global population
tripled, water use per capita increased by
Water use in the United States
alone leaped from 330 million gallons per
day in 1980 to 408 million gallons per day
in 1990, despite a decade of improvements
in water-saving technology.
On a global average, most
freshwater withdrawals -- 69% -- are used
for agriculture, while industry accounts
for 23% and municipal use (drinking water,
bathing and cleaning, and watering plants
and grass) just 8%.
Water used around the house for
such things as drinking, cooking, bathing,
toilet flushing, washing clothes and
dishes, watering lawns and gardens,
maintaining swimming pools, and washing
cars accounts for only 1% of all the water
used in the U.S. each year.
Eighty percent of the fresh water
we use in the U.S. is for irrigating crops
and generating thermoelectric-power.
More than 87% of the water consumed
in Utah is used for agriculture and
Per capita water use in the western
U.S. is much higher than in any other
region, because of agricultural needs in
this arid region. In 1985, daily per
capita consumption in Idaho was 22,200
gallons versus 152 gallons in Rhode
A corn field of one acre gives off
4,000 gallons of water per day in
It takes about 6 gallons of water
to grow a single serving of lettuce. More
than 2,600 gallons is required to produce
a single serving of steak.
It takes almost 49 gallons of water
to produce just one eight-ounce glass of
milk. That includes water consumed by the
cow and to grow the food she eats, plus
water used to process the milk.
About 6,800 gallons of water is
required to grow a day's food for a family
The average American consumes 1,500
pounds of food each year; 1,000 gallons of
water are required to grow and process
each pound of that food. -- 1.5 million
gallons of water is invested in the food
eaten by just one person! This
water-per-person would be enough to cover
a football field four feet deep.
About 39,090 gallons of water is
needed to make an automobile, tires
If all the water in the Great Lakes
was spread evenly across the continental
U.S., the ground would be covered with
almost 10 feet of water.
One gallon of water weighs 8.34