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SustainAbility Newsletter

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

10 Facts About Water

Water

Our Earth seems to be unique among the other known celestial bodies. It has water, which covers three-fourths of its surface and constitutes 60-70 wt % of the living world. Water regenerates and is redistributed through evaporation, making it seem endlessly renewable. So why worry?  

Actually, only 1% of the world's water is usable to us. About 97% is salty sea water, and 2% is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Thus that 1% of the world's water supply is a precious commodity necessary for our survival. 

To follow are 10 more facts about water:

  1. One drop of oil can make up to 6.6 gallons of water undrinkable.
  2. 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture, 22% for industry and 8% for domestic use. Low and middle income countries use 82% of their water for agriculture, 10% for industry and 8% for domestic use. High income countries use 30% of their water for agriculture, 59% for industry and 11% for domestic use.
  3. A person is able to survive one month without food but only five to seven days without water.
  4. Of all the Earth’s water, 97.5% is salt and 2.5% is fresh. Of the fresh water, about 70% is locked in glacial ice and 30% in soil, leaving under 1% (.007% of the total fresh water) readily accessible for human use. 
  5. A water footprint, or virtual water, is the amount of water used in the entire production and/or growth of a specific product. For example, 2.2 lbs of beef has a water footprint of 4,226.8 gallons; one sheet of paper has a water footprint of 2.6 gallons; one cup of tea has a water footprint of 9.2 gallons; and one microchip has a water footprint of 8.5 gallons.
  6. It takes 25 to 50 gallons to take a five-minute shower; 2-7 gallons to flush a toilet; 2 gallons to brush one’s teeth; and 20 gallons to hand wash dishes.
  7. 6,000 children die each day from preventable water-related diseases.
  8. The population of the United States is approximately 304 million; the population of Europe is approximately 732.7 million; 1.1 billion people lack adequate drinking water access; and 2.6 billion people lack basic water sanitation. 
  9. The average American uses about 151.9 gallons of water per day, with about 60% of that being used out-of-doors (watering lawns, washing cars, etc.) The average European uses 66 gallons of water per day. 1.1 billion people lack adequate water access, using less than 5 gallons per day.
  10.  The average American uses 30.3 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access; the average European uses 13.2 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access.
         

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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org 
 
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

Nature.com
www.enature.com

Golfpreserves
www.golfcourseproject.com

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

Sustainable Golf & Development
www.sustainablegolfdevelopment.com

Turf Feeding Systems
www.turffeeding.com

National Geographic
www.nationalgeographic.org


 

 

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