How Much Water Does it Take?

In today’s modern society we take the presence of so many physical objects for granted… Our car, iphone, comfy sofa, new clothes, designer handbags etc…  But what is the real cost, in terms of water usage, in the production of these items?  When you think of water consumption, you think of how much water we use to run a bath. Or to use the dishwasher.  But did you know that some of our everyday items use thousands to tens of thousands of gallons to produce?

Now obviously you might use your dishwasher every day, you aren’t buying a car quite as frequently!  But even so it is staggering the amount of water used to produce the things that we take for granted.

So an obvious place to start is how much water does it really take to produce a standard car?  Obviously there are variables; a Fiat 500 takes far less than a Buggati Veyron….. But it can take anywhere between 40,000 – 80,000 gallons to produce one car!  And that doesn’t include all of the water used to produce the fuel to go into the car to run it.

Much of our “water footprint” is hidden in today’s world with agriculture using a staggering 92% of our footprint.  It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to make on pint of beer and 1500 gallons to produce one barrel!  The simple watermelon uses 100 gallons of water to produce just one item of fruit.  One cup of coffee equals 35 gallons of water.  1 little apple takes around 18 gallons of water and a fast food hamburger takes 660 gallons of water!

A new pair of jeans?  They use around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular blue jeans.  And a new pair of shoes can take 2257 gallons…..

Discover magazine says – “The average person on earth has a virtual water footprint of about 328,410 gallons each year; that includes everything used to make the food, clothing, and other water-driven products we consume. In China the average footprint is only 185,412 gallons, while in the United States it is 656,012—the largest on the planet.”

earth with tap

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