The planet is so full of water that it may seem like we’ll never run out. With 71 percent of the Earth being covered by water, conserving what we have may seem like a low priority. But these more than 25 facts will open people’s eyes to the issue of water wastage and why they should care.
Fact 1: More Water is Being Used Every Year
Worldwide water usage is going up by about 1 percent every year. It’s expected to continue at that rate until 2050.
Fact 2: For Some, Water Stress is a Fact of Life
If you’re lucky enough to live with plenty of water, don’t take that for granted. More than two billion people reside in places that experience high water stress. Approximately four billion live with severe water scarcity.
Water stress and scarcity is expected to increase to seven billion people by 2050.
Fact 3: Water, Water Everywhere, but Not Many Drops to Drink
Although there is a lot of water on the Earth, less than one percent of it is fit to be used as drinking water.
Fact 4: We’re Using More Freshwater
In the past 50 years, the world has tripled its usage of freshwater. Freshwater is water that isn’t found in the oceans or seas.
Fact 5: Simple Health Interventions Would Result in Less Contaminated Water
By not implementing health interventions, such as water and sanitation facilities, people are polluting water sources. That contaminated water is causing diseases like typhoid fever, malaria, and cholera. More than five million people die from these diseases every year.
Fact 6: Wasting Food Leads to Water Loss
Every time you throw away uneaten food, you’ve wasted water. It takes 1,847 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Pork is a better alternative at 718 gallons per pound.
By only buying what you’re going to eat, you can save water. By eating less, you’ll be saving lots of water and losing a few pounds in the process.
Fact 7: One in Three People Leave the Faucet Running While Brushing Teeth
This simple act wastes about 5 gallons of water each time. If parents teach their children to brush their teeth this way, a family of four could be wasting 20 gallons of water with every toothbrushing session.
Fact 8: Food Waste Burns Up Freshwater
While people waste a lot of water on a number of activities, one-quarter of all freshwater in the United States is spent on food that is thrown away. Freshwater is the most valuable of all water on the planet because it is the kind that we can drink in its current state.
Fact 9: Using a Dishwasher Can Save Water
Some people think that by handwashing their dishes, they are saving water. But if they do it inefficiently, they aren’t. An energy-efficient dishwasher can save more water than handwashing can.
Depending upon the frequency you do dishes, you could save as much as 5,000 gallons of water per year.
Fact 10: Using Your Cooking Water Can Feed Plants, But Most People Dump It Down the Drain
That cooking water you just boiled or steamed food in? It’s full of nutrients that can make plants thrive. If you wait for it to cool, you can dump it outside on your plants where it will do much more good than going down your drain.
Fact 11: Long Showers Waste a Lot of Water
The average U.S. shower lasts just over eight minutes and uses 17.2 gallons of water. That 17.2 gallons is a whole month’s worth of drinking water. By keeping showers shorter than five minutes, a person can save approximately 1,000 gallons of water.
Fact 12: People in the U.S. Use the Most Water Per Day
When looking at per-person, per-day water usage rates around the world, people in the United States use the most water at an average rate of 152 gallons per day. People in Australia come in at 90 gallons per person per day, and people in China only use 23 gallons of water per day per person.
Fact 13: Keeping Lawns Green Wastes 1,020 Gallons of Water Per Hour
The water that comes out of your sprinkler in one hour could provide enough drinking water for one person for more than five years.
Fact 14: Watering Plants During the Afternoon Means More Water Loss
Evaporation from the hot sun leads to a lot of water loss when you try to water your plants midday during the summer. It’s better to water them in the morning hours.
Fact 15: There Are 113 Billion Gallons of Water in Private Pools in the U.S.
By joining a community pool instead, water usage in the U.S. would be drastically reduced from the 8 million above ground and inground pools in the country.
Fact 16: Unaddressed Water Leaks Cost a Lot of Wasted Water
Even a slow drip can waste gallons of water per week. A faster drip can result in 2,082 gallons of wasted water every year.
Fact 17: With Some Work, Businesses Could Cut Back on Water Usage by as Much as 30 Percent
Many don’t make changes because of the expense. Some of the biggest businesses that have tried to reduce usage have been successful.
Fact 18: Instant Water Heaters Can Save Water
People don’t have to let showers and sinks run as long while waiting for instant water heaters to warm the water.
Fact 19: You Don’t Need to Rinse Dishes Before Placing Them in a Dishwasher
You’re just wasting water. Dish detergent is formulated to stick to food particles — it’s how they do their jobs.
Fact 20: Our Disposable Society Is Hurting Our Water Supply
It takes water to make disposable plastics. More than 480 billion plastic water bottles and millions of plastic straws are sold annually.
Fact 21: What Kind of Milk You Drink Can Save Water
Cow’s milk requires a lot more water to produce than soy milk or almond milk.
Fact 22: Reusing Towels Saves Water
Yes, hotels probably are more interested in saving money than water when they ask you to reuse towels. But reusing towels can still save a lot of water every year, and that’s good business for everyone.
Fact 23: Overwatering Lawns Leads to Unnecessary Water Usage
Many people think their lawns need a lot of water to thrive. But lawns only need one inch of water per week to stay healthy.
Fact 24: Swimming Pools Lose Approximately 1,000 Gallons Every Month
That’s just from evaporation. People could easily cut down on that by using a swimming pool cover.
Fact 25: Clean Cars Are Costing the Earth a Lot of Water
Stretching out the length of time between car washes is good for the environment. Washing your car at home can take 80 to 140 gallons of water each time.
Fact 26: Pool Heaters Speed Up Evaporation
By running pool heaters less, people can slow the evaporation rate of their pool. They can also cut down on it by not having waterfalls and sprays in their pool.
About the Author
Sylvia Jones is a freelance writer passionate about environmental conservation, saving water, and reducing her carbon footprint. In her spare time, you can find Sylvia getting involved in home improvement projects with her husband, blogging at Sensible Digs, and spending time with family.