How much water America wastes, part 1

How much water America wastes, part 1

Chances are, you are wasting a lot more water than you think. From failing to fix a leaky faucet to leaving the shower on while you wash your hair to throwing away a moldy piece of chicken, Americans unnecessarily waste trillions of gallons of water every year. In fact, according to personal finance website Credit Loan, the United States is one of the largest consumers of water in the world. Considering the U.S. only makes up about 4.5 percent of earth’s population, it seems it might be time to start changing our attitudes about water.

Credit Loan said the U.S. uses 1,053 billion cubic meters of water per year. 1 cubic meter is about 264 gallons of water, which amounts to about 278 trillion gallons of water used in this country every single year.

What are we using all that water for?
A significant portion of the water Americans use each year is not even being really being used for anything. The Environmental Protection Agency said household leaks alone make up 1 trillion gallons of America’s annual water use. To put that into perspective, the Environmental Protection Agency explained that 1 trillion gallons of water is the amount of annual water use for 11 million homes. The Washington Post said 1 trillion gallons of water could fill 40 million swimming pools and 24 billion baths.

Consider these facts and figures from Credit Loan and the EPA:

  • The average water footprint worldwide of an individual is 1,385 cubic meters per year, whereas the average water footprint of an American is 2,842 cubic meters per year
  • 95 percent of water used in the average American home is wasted every day
  • We use 127 percent more water than we did in 1950
  • 70 percent of the 400 gallons of water used by an average family of 4 each day is used indoors
  • A home loses 60 percent of its water every year from leaky pipes
  • 27 percent of indoor water use is from just the toilet
  • Even a tiny leak in an irrigation system can waste thousands of gallons of water per month
  • In 10 percent of American homes, there are leaks substantial enough to waste 90 gallons of water every day
  • When a shower head leaks at only 10 drips per minute, it wastes over 500 gallons of water per year.

There are so many more numbers that could be shared, but the fact is Americans are letting too much water go to waste by failing to complete simple, inexpensive tasks like repairing a dripping faucet or shower head or turning off the sink while they brush their teeth. Simple changes like those could not only help the environment but could save homeowners tons of money on their water bills.

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