Why You Should Care About Water Conservation
"Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink". This famous line from Samuel Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" actually sums up the state of our Earth's water supply quite well. The vast majority of water can't be used,
so the fresh water that is available must be treasured. Learn about the water supply issues impacting our planet and why it is so important to care about water conservation.
Supply and demand
- 99.7% of Earth's water supply can't be used by humans.
- Water withdrawal is the removal of water from a source, like ground water, for use by humans.
- Water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years.
- 263 rivers and countless aquifers cross or demarcate international political boundaries.
- Average Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) resident uses 11.55 cubic meters of water/year" lowest in the world.
- Average US resident uses 1.550 cubic meters of water/year: highest in the world and 134 times higher than DRC uses.
- 90% of countries share water with at least one other country. This puts nations at risk of international conflict as water becomes more scarce.
Production soaks up out water
- 1 pound of rice requires 449 gallons of water to produce.
- 1 gallon of beer requires 689 gallons of water to produce.
- 1 cotton t-shirt requires 713 gallons of water to produce.
- 1 pound of beef requires 1.799 gallons of water to produce.
- 1 pound of chocolate requires 3.170 gallons of water to produce.
- US thermoelectric-power generation used 201 billion gallons per day in 2005.
- Agriculture used 128 billion gallons per day.
- 78% - combined percentage of US freshwater withdrawals for thermoelectric power and agriculture.
- 70% of freshwater use globally is for agriculture.
Access to freshwater saves lives
- 1 child dies from a water-related disease every 20 seconds.
- 3.575 million people die yearly from water related disease. Equivalent to filling Cowboy Stadium 44+ times.
- 84 million people use water from unimproved sources.
- Only 54% of the world's population has clean, fresh water piped into their dwellings.
Seametrics | Sources: http://environmentnationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water; http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/children; http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/index.html; http://www.unesco.org/new/
en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/facts-and-figures/water-supply-sanitation-and-health; http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1344; http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/main/index.stm; http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/
MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/pdf/WWDRB_Facts_and_Figures.pdf; http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/03/how-to-feed-0-billion-people-the-future-of-doodand-farmings.ars; http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/main/index.stm;
http://www.chemistry.wustLedl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/PublicWaterSupply/PublicWaterSupply.html; http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/pdf/WWDRB_Facts_and_Figures.pdf; http://www.treehug