How Much Water Do You Use Each Day?
Marketplace's Sustainability Desk Correspondent Scott Tong asked his listeners yesterday to "try to imagine a ticker, or counter, that tallies all your water use: every cup of coffee, every shower, every flush." Well that's what Tong did to find out his family's water footprint.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
But, before actually finding out how much water his family used each day, he decided to guess. He guessed 500 gallons for him, his wife and three children. He then solicited estimates via Twitter and Facebook to see what others thought a typical family of five consumed in water each day.
The median guess was 225 gallons a day with the lowest estimate at 30 and the highest at 5,000. Here's a tweet by Tong showing the responses:
Your guesses and mine -- here. @Marketplace pic.twitter.com/13Ror1c3h3
— Scott Tong (@tongscott) February 5, 2015
Tong did a little research for context before finding out his family's water usage and learned that the "United Nation's estimate for a bare minimum a person needs to drink, bathe and clean is 13 gallons a day."
He also discovered that Americans consume more water per capita than anyone else on the planet and as Stanford University’s Newsha Ajami told Tong, American water is underpriced. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the national average cost of water is $2 for 1,000 gallons.
This chart shows how the U.S. compares to other countries in domestic use of water and the tariff price in dollars per one thousand gallons:
So how much water does the Tong family use on average per day? 310 gallons according to his house water meter. And as Tong said, "310 gallons. It’s not bad for an American family of five. But it’s a ton of water (1.15 tons, to be precise). And that one ton for one day costs $1.30. Put another way: It’s about the price of one bottle of water."
Tong explores many other aspects of our water consumption in his Counting gallons: How much water do you use? segment. Listen here:
Want to calculate your water footprint? Check out the water footprint calculator on the GRACE Communications Foundation's website.
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By Dana Drugmand
An unprecedented climate lawsuit brought by six Portuguese youths is to be fast-tracked at Europe's highest court, it was announced today.
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‘Protect Our Future’<p>Cláudia Agostinho (21), Catarina Mota (20), Martim Agostinho (17), Sofia Oliveira (15), André Oliveira (12) and Mariana Agostinho (8) are <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/2020/09/03/youth-climate-lawsuit-portugal-33-european-countries" target="_blank">bringing the case</a> with nonprofit law firm Global Legal Action Network (<span style="background-color: initial;">GLAN</span>), arguing that none of the countries have sufficiently ambitious targets to cut their emissions.</p><p>Portugal recently sweltered through its <a href="https://www.ipma.pt/pt/media/noticias/news.detail.jsp?f=/pt/media/noticias/textos/resumo-clima-julho-20.html" target="_blank">hottest July in 90 years</a> and has seen a rise in devastating heatwaves and wildfires over recent years due to rising temperatures. Four of the applicants live in Leiria, one of the regions worst-hit by the forest fires that killed more than 120 people in 2017. </p><p>Responding to the development, André Oliveira, 12, said: "It gives me lots of hope to know that the judges in the European Court of Human Rights recognise the urgency of our case." </p><p>"But what I'd like the most would be for European governments to immediately do what the scientists say is necessary to protect our future. Until they do this, we will keep on fighting with more determination than ever."</p>
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