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How Much Water Do You Use?

Not showering every day? That’s awfully…European. Me, I’m addicted to daily showers. Especially in summer. I’m an American, and I can smell like honeysuckle-jasmine every goshdarn day if I want to. But there is one thing our fragrant friends across the pond have on us…on average, they’re using a lot less water.

How much water do you use? If you’re an average American, a lot. Let’s take a look at some numbers. Who knows? Maybe we can actually do something to fight water wastefulness.

The following is an excerpt from Water: Use Less—Save More by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert. It has been adapted for the Web.

Water. We all need it, we can’t live without it, and we are using more and more of it.

Although we appear to have plenty of rain in the United States, our water resources are under pressure. We use 127% more water today than we did in 1950.

Quite simply, we are consuming too much. Our demand for water increases yearly, to the extent that no matter what the water companies do, eventually they will not be able to keep up. Water also requires huge amounts of energy, both to treat it and pump it to our houses, so our thirst for water is damaging our planet in more ways than one.

How much water do you use?

Are you letting money flow down the drain? Find out how much water you use: how much is it costing you?

Bath40 gallons
5-minute shower10 gallons
5-minute power shower20 gallons
Brushing teeth with tap running2 gallons/min
Brushing teeth with tap off.25 gallon
One toilet flush3 gallons
Other water use (drinking, cooking, etc.)7 gallons
Washing machine40 gallons
Dishwasher10 gallons
Washing car with bucket3 gallons
Hose/sprinkler140 gallons/hour


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