15 Mind-blowing Water Consumption Facts

Living beings are water. The planet Earth is also made up of a lot of water since 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with this essential resource. However, out of the huge amount of water on the planet, only 2% is suitable for drinking. In this context, it is alarming that water consumption continues to grow at an exorbitant rate. A marginal increase in water expenditure per person can have serious consequences for the water stress that plagues different parts of the world.

Every person on earth uses water on a daily basis. It’s something that we all can’t do without. But have you ever thought for a moment and wanted to know more about water? Well, there are many facts about water consumption that I’m sure you don’t know about or have never heard about.

Many Deaths Caused by Diarrhea

Of all the water consumption facts and figures, this is the saddest. Diarrhea, which is often the result of a lack of clean water and sanitation, is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million children every single year. It means that these young kids do not live to see their dreams come true, all these dreams are cut short because of diarrhea.

Sanitation in Developing Countries

What if I tell you that there are more than 2.6 billion people who do not have access to sanitation? That is adequate sanitation that fits the standards required. There are millions of families that include adults and kids as well. This is to say that there is an entire generation that does not have access to sanitation, this is a big danger to their health. Most of these people are living in slums in developing countries. Their access to clean water is negligible, leading to a variety of health problems. The quality of life that these people have become accustomed to is shockingly low when compared to the life that people (even if they are on the poorer side) have come to expect in developed countries. 

The Untreated Wastewater

top view of concrete structures

Statistics indicate that around 90% of untreated wastewater in the developing world is discharged into rivers. This is high pollution of the environment and also a big health risk to the people who rely on the water downstream. This is undoubtedly a fact that many people do not get to know. Even if you aren’t directly drinking from the water that gets wastewater dumped into it, the toxins leach into the environment and make their way into your food and drink.

The Cost of Drilling a Well

Sometimes people decide to drill wells in areas they feel that the water access is not reliable. There is a cost implication of course. But can you really guess the figures? From just a few hundred dollars you can get yourself well, but that’s just the minimum. Costs have been known to go as high as beyond $40,000

Waterborne Diseases

Can you guess that the biggest cause of sickness in the developing world is as a result of waterborne diseases? That 80% of the illnesses in the developing world are as a result of waterborne diseases is a big indicator of how many people they affect.

It is also a fact that to be able to access water, women who are the ones collecting water for their households, travel up to 3.7 miles. This is mostly in the developing world where piped water is a privilege not enjoyed by many. The ones who are in the rural areas are the ones who really have to walk that distance.

A Kilogram of Rice

green grass on water during daytime

Rice is one of the most popular dishes worldwide, and it is known to take a lot of water when being grown. But to be specific, it takes about 5000 liters of water to be able to produce that kilogram of rice. This is definitely a shocking revelation.

Biggest Usage of Water

Agriculture, which is one of the biggest lifelines for those in the developing world, accounts for a whopping 70% of the world’s water usage. Industries that include factories are known to account for about 22%. This shows how much impact water has on agriculture, lack of water will be of significant impact to the agriculture sector.

Water in Bottles

Bottled water sells a lot. In fact, their sales range from $60 to $80 billion on an annual basis. The simple act of washing your hands can decrease the possibility of contracting diarrhea by almost 35%.

Loss of Precious Schooldays

Waterborne illnesses have been known to cause 443 million school days to be wasted. This is affecting the young kids who should be learning in their schools. With just a dollar, it is enough to be able to provide a child with enough clean water for a whole year; this means you have ensured that the child does not get to miss school for a single day.

Water Impact on Health

To show the impact of the illnesses caused by water, half of all the hospital beds globally are occupied by a person who has a water-related sickness. This shows that water can affect more people than anything else can, that is speaking health-wise. Water is a vital nutrient for all human bodies, and no one can survive for long without the consumption of water. It plays a crucial role in a variety of processes that are important for the body to function properly, such as temperature regulation through sweating, facilitating absorptions of nutrients, keeping your skin supple and elastic to protect your internal organs and blood from contaminants and microbes, helping your body excrete toxins, and much more. 

Daily Usage of Water in Developing World

Here’s one of the human water consumption facts that will show you how the world is not equal in any way. While there are many Americans who have access to the shower, there are many in the developing world who need that water. For instance, the average 5 minutes you can spend in the shower in America can be enough for what a person living in a developing world will need to spend in one day.

The World Population

Do you know that a third of all people who don’t have access to water live below the poverty line? This is below a dollar. The remaining two-thirds live on less than 2 dollars a day; this shows that they are all low-income households. They occupy a big proportion of the world population and lead lives that are drastically different when compared to what people in developed countries have come to expect. 

Developed World Versus Developing World

The odds of a child in sub-Saharan Africa dying from diarrhea, a water-related illness, is 500 times that of a child in Europe dying from the same illness. This is as a result of the advanced sanitation facilities that are in place as compared to those in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the Indian subcontinent which has a high population, water-borne diseases are a big mess. They are the reason more than 73 million working days are lost. The level of water consumed in an American household is 8 times more than what is consumed in an Indian home. A US household uses more water than a household in India. This is a representation of the stark difference in water consumption in different areas of the world, namely the difference between so-called first and third-world countries.

While there are more than 2.5 billion people who do not have access to the appropriate sanitation facilities, almost half, 1.2 billion people do not have any access to a sanitation facility. In the African continent, the number of people who are affected by diarrhea is more than 5 to 10 times greater than those who are affected by war.

That moment you flush your toilet, it consumes almost 8 liters in that one flush. This means that more than 8 liters are spent flushing the toilet on a typical day. This is often clean water. It is also a sad fact that half of all the schools in the world do not have access to not just clean water but also adequate sanitation.

Weight and Your Cup of Coffee

That 18 liter can of water is not equal to 18 kilograms but equal to 20 kilograms. Coffee, one of the world’s most used beverages, uses a lot of water to be produced. A single pound of coffee will have consumed up to 11,000 liters of water. When you are enjoying that mug of coffee, there has been lots of water behind all that.

Water Consumption Around the World

Despite the fact that there is enough water to meet the needs of the population, water consumption in the world is very uneven. Let’s review some data that can clarify the situation:

  • The extraction of drinking water has tripled in the last 50 years. The demand for drinking water is increasing at levels of 64,000 million cubic meters per year. One cubic meter is one thousand liters of water.
  • Spain’s annual water footprint is 2.5 million liters per person. This is twice the world average.
  • In the Netherlands, 95% of the water footprint comes from the consumption of water generated for the importation of products. In the case of India or Paraguay, 3% of water consumption comes from imported goods.
  • Mongolia has a water consumption of 10,000 liters per capita per day. It is the country with the highest water consumption per person in the world, followed by Niger, Bolivia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The cost of water per person in the United States is 7,800 liters per capita.
  • In addition to human consumption, new energy sources represent a very high water consumption. To generate a liter of biofuel, between 1,000 and 4,000 liters of water are needed. 

 

Reducing the use of water is vital. Although in many countries, access to drinking water is not a problem, the truth is that the distribution of this resource necessary for life is very unequal. Droughts are increasing in response to the climate emergency that our planet is experiencing. It is the natural response to the increase in temperatures caused by the high level of industrialization. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to be responsible for our consumption of water. We need a new water culture that is based on saving, using, and optimizing its management. Respect for the environment in which we live begins with respecting and monitoring water consumption. What can you do to save water? For the reasons we have just discussed, it is essential to question what is our type of water consumption and what is our water footprint. We need water to live and to develop a considerable part of the actions and activities of our day-to-day. However, by learning to use this resource responsibly and sharing our knowledge and experience with others, we can help reduce our footprint and that of our environment. An act as simple as choosing a shower, rather than a bath, could help save huge amounts of water. One step further: reducing the time we spend under the shower water would save even more water. Think of a shower as the equivalent of 90 bottles of water. An act as simple as flushing—that’s 10 bottles of water! We have a duty to nature that gives us so much. Our obligation is to care for it, protect it and ensure that its resources can regenerate and endure. Otherwise, our future and that of all the world’s ecosystems would be in grave danger.

More Water Consumption Facts and Figures

Aerial View of Lake in the Middle of Mountains

Unsustainable Growth and the Growing Global Demand for Water

The point is that there is enough water to satisfy the growing needs of the world, but not if we don’t change radically the way it is used, managed, and shared Water. The global water crisis is a governance crisis much more than available resources.

  •  It is estimated that 20% of the world’s aquifers are being over-exploited which will have serious consequences, such as subsidence of the ground and saltwater intrusion.
  • Economic losses due to related hazards with water have increased considerably in the last decade. Since 1992, floods, droughts, and storms have affected 4.2 billion people (95% of all people affected by all disasters) and have caused $ 1.3 trillion of damage (63% of all damages).
  • Water availability faces pressure from pollution. It is expected that the eutrophication of the water’s surface areas and coastal areas increased in almost all parties until 2030 Worldwide.
  • The number of lakes with dangerous algal blooms is expected to rise.

Economic Development

Investments in water infrastructure are essential to unleash the full potential for economic growth in the initial stages of a country’s economic development. Once the fringe benefits of further development decrease, the emphasis should gradually shift towards building human and institutional capacities to improve water efficiency and sustainability and ensure the benefits of economic and social development.

Where Does the Water Supply (Amount and Quality) Come From?

  • Malnutrition or chronic hunger is a state of inability to acquire enough food that lasts for at least one year.
  • Water sources can make a country’s efforts to develop become more sustainable by reducing their Economies’ susceptibility and/or increasing their residence in the face of extreme events.
  • To avoid solving one problem by making another worse, it is essential to understand how they are linked to each other through different areas of the economy.
  • Policies to support the generation of income for the small producers promote economic growth in rural areas. For example, the rate was calculated internal return on investment in large-scale irrigation scale in Central Africa at 12%, while the figure corresponding to investment in small-scale irrigation in the Shelled at Water system.

Ecosystems

Water consumption has a tremendous impact on our ecosystems, and we are to preserve the ecology of our ecosystem we need to take more precautions when consuming water in the various ways that we do. Even if you don’t think that you need to maintain the ecosystem because you live in a city, nature will find its way to you.

  • Healthy ecosystems provide facilities.
  • Water has enormous value for society thanks to flood control, water replenishment.
  • The subsoil, the stabilization of river banks and the protection against erosion, water purification, conservation of biodiversity, as well as transportation, entertainment, and tourism.

Note: The natural flow regimes are strongly modified by the abstractions of water and the operation of the dams. The indicator water stress owing to changes in flow regimes is used to assess the hydrological changes that occur from these impacts (Schneider et al. 2013).

  • I know simulated daily series of natural and modified river discharges using the Water model with a global grid of 5×5 minute angle (i.e. about 8×8 km in Ecuador) taking into account more than 6,000 large dams.
  • Flow regimes are particularly disrupted by dams and water management in the US, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, India, and Northeast, and Northwest China. In eastern Australia, the Murray Darling Basin shows severe deviations from natural conditions, and in Africa.
  • The study focuses on the Nile River basin in Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, the Orange and Limpopo basins in South Africa, and the Moroccan basins.
  • This increases the risk of ecosystem degradation, especially the intrusion of invasive species.

What Is Water Consumption?

There are two ways we can classify our water use. One category is in-stream use, which includes things like hydropower, boating, and swimming. Although stream activities do not use water, they can pollute it and reduce water quality.

The other type of water use is water extraction, and this classification includes domestic use, industrial use, irrigation, livestock trough, and thermal and nuclear energy. Most of the extractions are consumptions, which means that the activity uses the water and does not return it to the source.

Water intake is the amount of water taken (or extracted) from the source, while the water output is the amount of water returned. The distinction between water and other liquids. The intake and discharge of water are the amounts consumed.

What Are the Main Causes of Water Consumption?

In 1996, Environment Canada discovered that the main uses of water extraction were for thermal power generation, manufacturing, municipal use, agriculture, and mining.

While thermal power generation draws the most water, agriculture consumes much more water than thermal power generation. It’s also worth noting that there’s no sign of recycled water in the residence, which makes household water use inefficient.

The amount of water withdrawn each year could reach more than 500 million cubic meters with the proposed developments! Furthermore, oil extraction is quite inefficient in the area of water recycling, and much of the extracted water ends up in tailings ponds. From the extracted water, only 10% of river water is returned to the river after mining in Alberta’s tar sands. 

Final Thoughts

Water remains to be an essential part of our lives. You can be able to do your part by being able to conserve water when you can. This can be through recycling. Awareness is also an important way of fighting water-borne diseases. This can be through simple acts such as washing hands. There is a lot to be done to bridge the gap between the developed and developing world to improve water access and sanitation.

As we’ve previously stated, we all need water to survive. Other uses of water are important as well, but priority should be given to those uses that are essential for life to continue. This means prioritizing the treatment of water for drinking purposes and water for agricultural use over water that is used for flushing toilets and other conveniences of modern life. You can live without your daily shower, but you certainly can’t live without drinking water. Even if this is not a direct concern for you in the area or country that you live in keep in mind that there is only so much water on this planet. Agriculture and drinking water do not take water out of the overall water cycle, meaning there is no net loss of water. However, when water goes into the sewage system, it takes a long time for it to get back into the water cycle as clean water. This problem is prominent in the developing world, but it will reach the entire planet sooner than we think. Start saving water now and stop wasting this precious resource because we all need it equally, regardless of where we live on this Earth.

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