The World of Water
Despite the fact that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only .0007% of it is accessible for direct human use.
In the UK the expansion of water and sanitation infrastructure in the 1880s contributed to a 15 year increase in life expectancy in the following four decades.
Globally, nearly 3 billion people are affected by water shortages.
Since the Earth is a “closed system,” water tends to recycle itself over eons. The same water that existed millions of years ago is still present today.
• 97.5% - Salt Water
• 70% of the remaining 2.5% is frozen in icecaps, hidden in aquifers, or not accessible
• Less than 1% is available for direct human use
The Clean Water Cure
Clean water keeps us healthier and more productive. Worldwide, people from ages 15-59 would gain a combined 320 million more productive days each year if clean, potable was available. Disease-causing contamination sickens millions of people each year.
80% of all illness in the developing world comes from water born diseases.
A child dies of water borne diseases about every 15 seconds. By this time tomorrow, another 2,500 will have died.
90% of wastewater in developing countries is discharged into rivers or streams without any treatment.
America's Obsession with Water
Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in America EVERY DAY. In a single year, the average American residence uses more than 100,000 gallons of water. On average, that is eight times the amount used in a typical household in India.
A five minute shower in an American household will use more water than a person living in a developing world slum will use in a whole day.
To survive, one person needs a minimum of 289 gallons per year. The typical American uses this much water in 3 days.
The NYC Water Supply system alone leaks 36 million gallons every day. That’s enough water each day to keep 124,567 people alive.
Every day, 200 billion gallons of fresh water are used for thermoelectric power generation. That is the equivalent of draining Lake Havasu once a day.
Like Water for Chocolate
Water isn’t just something we have with our meals…it’s also required to CREATE much of what’s on our plate.
1lb of pork requires 576 gallons of water to produce.
It takes 2,847 gallons of water to make a serving of chocolate.
1lb of chicken requires 468 gallons of water to produce.
A single egg requires 53 gallons of water (each pound of chicken requires 2lbs of grain for feed + associated irrigation water).
BBQ quarter pound burgers for four people? Almost 1800 gallons of water to produce!
Time is Money (and Water)
Most of us start or end the day with a bath or shower. Our bathrooms can expend much more water than we need. It’s also a great spot to begin conservation.
Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it saves up to 1,000 gallons per month.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
Turning off the water while brushing your teeth conserves 25 gallons per month.
An estimated 200 million gallons of motor oil is improperly disposed of every year. Properly disposing of oil would save 1.3 million barrels of oil PER DAY and reduce hydrocarbons and heavy metals in waterways.
The Oil and Water Solution
All too often, we hear about major spills from tankers or pipelines that affect our waterways. In reality, those spills account for only about 8% of the petroleum that enters the water per year. We are responsible for the rest.
29 million gallons of petroleum enter North American waterways each year. 85 percent comes from land-based runoff, airplanes, small boats and jet skis.