The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. On average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer (a toilet alone can use 27 percent!).
Old showers used to use up to 5 gallons of water per minute. Water-saving shower heads produce about 2 gallons per minute.
The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. Read more
Water surrounds us, falling from the sky, rushing down riverbeds, pouring from faucets, and yet many of us have never stopped to ask where it comes from. The answer is a complicated one, stretching way beyond an incoming tide or a cloud heavy with rain and all the way back to the very origins of the universe.
Have you ever wondered exactly where all that water charging down Niagara Falls came from?
Shortly after the big bang, protons, neutrons and electrons swarmed in 10 billion degree heat. Within minutes, hydrogen and then helium, known as the lighter elements, had taken shape from these atomic building blocks in a process called nucleosynthesis. (Lithium had a cameo as well.) The heavier elements didn’t appear until much later, when the lighter elements underwent fusion inside of stars and during supernovas. Over time, stars sent wave after wave of these heavier elements, including oxygen, out into space where they mixed with the lighter elements.
Of course, the formation of hydrogen and oxygen molecules and the subsequent formation of water are two different things. That’s because even when hydrogen and oxygen molecules mix, they still need a spark of energy to form water. The process is a violent one, and so far nobody has found a way to safely create water on Earth. Read more
Healthy, clean drinking water is something that most people take for granted. But the fact is that drinking water and healthy drinking water can mean different things to different people depending on where they are in the world.
As some of the below data reveals, some people have little to no access to clean water and it affects every aspect of their lives. Next time you leave the sink on while brushing your teeth or take an extra two minutes in the shower, just remember that there is a finite amount of fresh water in the world and the stresses of an increasing human population will only make access to clean water that much harder in the future. Read more
I’m sure you’ve asked this traveling, “Can I drink the tap water?” It is easy to get confused about where it’s safe to drink and where it’s not, especially if you’re planning a multi-destination trip. Some countries like India and Mexico are well known for unsafe tap water but where else is it a health risk? If you want a quick reference for where on Earth the water is safe we’ve got you covered with this helpful Graph.
It was created by Just the Flight and you can find the original interactive version on their website. All of the information about water safety is based on data from the CDC. The graph also shows pricing for bottled water and beer for each country as well! So if you can’t drink the water you know what you’re looking at for costs to stay hydrated. All of the details for tap water safety and costs for beer and bottled water are in individual graphics below. Read more
Fresh water is scarce in many parts of the world. Places like Southern California, Saudi Arabia, and many countries on the African continent can use all the fresh water they can get. Something like 70 percent of the Earth’s fresh water is locked up in the polar ice caps, and the ice caps calve icebergs naturally all the time. It therefore makes sense to think about towing huge icebergs to the places in the world that need fresh water the most.
It would be great if you could easily transport an iceberg. A good-sized iceberg might measure 3,000 x 1,500 x 600 feet. An iceberg that size contains somewhere around 20 billion gallons of fresh water. If 1 million people each use 10 gallons of water a day, then 20 billion gallons of water would take care of the water needs of 1 million people for more than five years. For 10 million people, it would last 200 days. It really is a lot of water.
The first question is, “Can you do it?” With today’s technology, it certainly is possible from a brute force standpoint. You can hunt for big, stable icebergs using satellites, attach tugboats to them, and drag them anywhere. However, there are two problems that you have to solve to make it work. Read more