How Much Water Does Your Car Use?

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 3:10 am by dpacheco

Most cars burn fossil fuels and dump CO2 into the atmosphere. We all know that. But have you considered the amount of water your car uses? I don’t just mean washing (although that’s part of it)—I’m also talking about the “embedded” water, if you will, in the manufacturing process. As it happens, bicycles don’t just have a leg up on cars in the gasoline and carbon dioxide race; they’re also way ahead when it comes to water consumption.

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

The car

It takes about 70 gallons of water to produce l gallon of gas.

It takes about 120,000 gallons of water to produce a small car.

It takes about 35 gallons of water to produce a bicycle.

  • Wash your car at home rather than at a car wash.
  • Wash your car using a sponge and a bucket and some soap. It works just as well and uses much less water than a hose or a pressure washer.
  • Wash your car less often.

 

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