A lot. According to one source, the water utility companies estimate that an average person uses about 3,000 gallons per month–OR 100 GALLONS A DAY! But we certainly don’t NEED to use that much… If one wanted, you could probably find a way to live using 1 gallon of water per day, but that would be difficult considering all the uses (cooking, personal hygene, washing clothes, manufacturing, fuel production, etc.) that there are for water. It would mean cutting out showers altogether. But, remember, in certain parts of the world, there is no hot-water shower, no toilet paper or even sink to wash your hands, so we really have it nice here in America (why don’t we share more with those who need it?)…
OK, let’s do some math though, to see how much we can cut down. We’ll use 100 gallons per day as a starting point… The source says that new shower heads restrict flow from 6 gallons per minute down to 2 gallons per minute, so instead of a 50 – 60 gallon shower we will only use about 15 – 20 gallons of water for our shower. We will flush the toilet using only low-flow technology as well, so we’ll say maybe 10 gallons of water per day for this use. Maybe 5 gallons of water for cooking. And allow AT LEAST another 5 – 15 for the production of all the household goods one uses in a day. Lastly, we have a high-efficiency washer which will use about 13 gallons of water per day (I divided the yearly use [4690 gallons] by 365 to get 12.8 gallons), but we will only wash our clothes every other day so that’s 6 gallons of water per day for that use. We will not wash our cars, water trees and shurbs, sprinkle our lawns or do anything of that sort… We will end up needing about 46 gallons of water per day! What this really means is that we can save about half of the water we use, if we really wanted to. Which undeveloped, starving nation should be send the savings to first?
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