Community / Education

Water Facts

Did you know:

  • The amount of water on earth hasn’t changed since the planet was formed two billion years ago. The water that comes from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs and Neanderthals drank.
     
  • Approximately 97 percent of the water on earth is salt water. Only 2.5 percent is fresh water. Of that 2.5 percent, 90 percent is in Antarctica. The rest is found in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams and beneath the ground.
     
  • If all the world's water were fit into a gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon.
     
  • Water is the only substance that is found naturally on earth in three forms: liquid, gas, solid.
     
  • Water moves around the earth in a water cycle. In one century, the average water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about two weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere. Much of the earth’s water, however, remains locked in glaciers and polar ice for thousands of years.
     
  • The water cycle has five parts: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration and surface run-off. Each day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water.
     
  • Water regulates the earth's temperature.
     
  • If water changes phase its physical appearance changes due to the parting or joining of the water molecules. In the solid phase – ice – the water molecules are close together. In the gaseous phase – steam – they are the furthest apart.
     
  • Frozen water is nine percent lighter than liquid water, which is why ice floats. If water were like most other substances, ice would sink and the earth would be a cold, dry and hostile planet, with thick layers of ice at the bottom of frigid oceans, lakes and rivers.
     
  • Approximately 66 percent of the human body consists of water. The human brain is approximately 75 percent water, and human blood is 83 percent water.
     
  • A single tree will move 70 gallons of water per day from the ground into the atmosphere.
     
  • A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water. A person must consume about two quarts of water daily to live healthily. Much of that water will come from the foods we eat – tomatoes, for example, are more than 90 percent water.
     
  • Just as it does with the earth, water regulates the temperature of the human body. If you have a fever you should drink lots of water to make up for the water you will be losing through evaporation.
     
  • More than two billion people on earth do not have a safe supply of water. At least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages.
     
  • In most American cities and towns, tap water is treated so that people don't get sick with diseases such as cholera and typhoid, which are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites found naturally in the water.
     
  • Each day almost 10,000 children under the age of five in Third World countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.
     
  • Today, drinking water in the U.S. must meet more than one hundred different standards for quality.
     
  • To determine water quality, government-certified agencies take samples that are tested in a laboratory to determine if they meet water quality standards. In a typical year, Aquarion takes more than 10,000 water samples from its supplies and performs more than 114,000 quality tests on them to assure that our water continues to meet or exceed state and federal standards.
     
  • Humans use more and more water each year. Americans use five times the amount of water that Europeans use – about 50 gallons of water per person per day.
     
  • It takes 120 gallons of water to produce one egg.
     
  • It takes 1,850 gallons of water to refine one barrel of crude oil.
     
  • Manufacturing a new car requires about 39,000 gallons of water.
     
  • In the home, three-quarters of the water used is used in the bathroom. Old-style toilets, unlike many new models, waste thousands of gallons each year.
     
  • Another way to save water is to keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge. You’ll avoid running the tap until the water is cold.
     
  • Still another way to save is to avoid letting the tap run while you brush your teeth.
     
  • Even one small drip in a faucet can waste more than 60,000 gallons of water each year. Most leaky faucets are easy to fix.
     
  • Bottled water can be up to 1,000 times more expensive than water from the tap – and much of it is tap water.
     
  • The average American spends less than one percent of his or her total personal expenditure dollars for water, wastewater and water disposal services.