|Estimated Use of Water in The United States in 1995 [pdf]. USGS, 7 January 2003.||"Total freshwater consumptive use was about 100,000 Mgal/d during 1995, or 6 percent more than during 1990."||3.8 × 1011 L/day|
|No. 388, Water Withdrawal and Consumptive Use--State and Other Area: 1995 [pdf]. US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: Geography and Environment, 2000.||"In millions of gallons per day (401,500 represents 401,500,000,000) except as noted Consumptive use, freshwater: 100,000"||3.8 × 1011 L/day|
|No. 387, US Water Withdrawals and Consumptive Use Per Day by End Use: 1940 to 1995 [pdf]. US Census Bureaus, Statistical Abstract of the United States: Geography and Environment, 2000.||No. 387, US Water Withdrawals and Consumptive Use Per Day by End Use: 1940 to 1995Total (bil.gal.)
|3.8 × 1011 L/day|
|"How We Use Water in These United States"US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 18 March 2003.||Total Freshwater and Saltwater Withdrawals vs. Water UseSurface--327.00 Billion Gal; Ground-- 80.6 Billion Gal Total Use-- 94 Billion Gal||3.6 × 1011 L/day|
When calculating the total amount of water consumed by the United States, we must first define and separate water withdrawal from water consumption. Withdrawal refers to water extracted from surface or ground water sources, with consumption being that part of a withdrawal that is ultimately used and removed from the immediate water environment. The majority of water consumption comes from domestic use. It is surprising to hear that each person in the United States uses approximately 380 liters of water each day (100 gal).
Most people drink under 4 liters of water a day, so how can it be that we each use 380? We must take into consideration the water used for bathing, washing dishes, brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet, etc. This chart shows the amount of water used for some of the most common domestic activities.
|Toilet flush||18-27 liters|
|Handwashing||8 liters with running tap|
|Toothbrushing||8 liters with running tap|
|Outdoor Watering||19-38 liters per minute|
|Automatic Dishwasher||38 liters|
|Dishwashing by Hand||76 liters|
|Tub Bath||137 liters|
One interesting fact: When signing NAFTA, Canada gave the US the rights to purchase all of their water. Coincidentally, Canada holds one fifth of the world's freshwater.
Ross Bernstein -- 2003