The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Whitney E. Akers
- "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.
- Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.
- We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.
Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.
By John R. Platt
When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.