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Fun Facts About Water


Adapted from the brochure “55 Facts, Figures, & Follies of Water Conservation,” originally published by the Denver Water Department, Denver, Colorado.

  1. All the water in the world today is the same water that was here thousands of years ago. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank, or that Columbus sailed across.
  2. Nearly 97 percent of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable, and 2 percent of the world’s water is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves only 1 percent available for all of humanity’s needs.
  3. The United States uses nearly 450 billion gallons of water every day. Only 6 percent of that is used by public water supply systems.
  4. The United States daily average of water pumped by public water supply systems is 185 gallons per person.
  5. Less than 1 percent of the treated water produced by water utilities is actually consumed for drinking. The rest goes on lawns, in washing machines, and down toilets and drains.
  6. If water and soft drinks were equally costly, your water bill would skyrocket by more than 10,000 percent.
  7. If everyone in the United States flushed the toilet just one less time per day, we could save a lake full of water about a mile long, a mile wide, and four feet deep every day.
  8. Every glass of water brought to your table in a restaurant requires another two glasses of water to wash and rinse the glass. We could save 26 million gallons of water per day if 1 person in 4 declined the complimentary glassful.
  9. Often, half or more of the water used by households is used outdoors.
  10. Inside your house, bathroom facilities claim nearly 75 percent of the water used daily.


Information for the original brochure was obtained from the following sources:

  • 40 Ways to Save Water In Your Yard and Garden,” by L. Ken Smith, Landscaping Architect
  • “Blueprint For a Green Planet. Your Practical Guide To Restoring The World’s Environment,” by John Seymour and Herbert Girardet.