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Fun Water Facts

The Natural Water Cycle Diagram

Water Facts ( from USGS )

The most common substance found on earth is water. Water is the only substance found naturally in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas.

The amount of water is constant and recycled throughout time; actually, it is possible to drink water that was part of the dinosaur era.

Eighty percent of the earth's surface is water.

The world's first vending machine dispensed "Holy Water" in the time of the Roman Empire.

Ninety-seven percent of the earth's water is saltwater in oceans and seas. Of the 3% percent that is freshwater, only 1% percent is available for drinking -- the remaining 2% is frozen in the polar ice caps.

Water serves as nature's thermometer, helping to regulate the earth's temperature.

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, O degrees Celsius.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, 100 degrees Celsius.

Once evaporated, a water molecule spends ten days in the air.

Forty trillion gallons of water a day are carried in the atmosphere across the United States.

An acre of corn gives off 4,000 gallons of water per day in evaporation.

Forty percent of the atmosphere's moisture falls as precipitation each day.

It would take 1.1 trillion gallons of water to cover one square mile with one foot of water.

One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds; one cubic foot contains 7.84 gallons of water.

People need about 2.5 quarts of water a day (from drinking or eating) to maintain good health. A person can live without water for approximately one week, depending upon the conditions.

While usage varies from community to community and person to person, on average, Americans use 183 gallons of water a day for cooking, washing, flushing, and watering purposes. The average family turns on the tap between 70 and 100 times daily.

About 74% of home water usage is in the bathroom, about 21% is for laundry and cleaning, and about 5% is in the kitchen.

A clothes washer uses about 50 gallons of water (the permanent press cycle uses an additional 15 gallons).

It takes 12 to 20 gallons of water to run an automatic dishwasher for one cycle.

About 2 gallons of water go down the drain when the kitchen faucet is run until the water's cold.

About 2 gallons of water are used to brush our teeth.

Flushing a toilet requires 2 to 7 gallons of water.

A 10 minute shower can take 25 - 50 gallons of water. High flow shower heads spew water out at 6 - 10 gallons a minute. Low flow shower heads can cut the rate in half without reducing pressure.

About 25 - 50 gallons are needed for a tub bath.

A typical garden hose can deliver 50 gallons of water in just 5 minutes.

It takes about four times the amount of water to produce food and fiber than all other uses of water combined.

About 4,000 gallons of water are needed to grow one bushel of corn, 11,000 gallons to grow one bushel of wheat, and about 135,000 gallons to grow one ton of alfalfa.

It takes about 1,000 gallons of water to grow the wheat to make a two pound loaf of bread, and about 120 gallons to produce one egg.

About 1,400 gallons of water are used to produce a meal of a quarter- pound hamburger, an order of fries and a soft drink.

About 48,000 gallons are needed to produce the typical American Thanksgiving dinner for eight people.

About 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce the cotton in a pair jeans, and 400 gallons to produce the cotton in a shirt.

It takes 39,000 gallons of water to produce the average domestic auto, including tires.

Producing an average-size Sunday newspaper requires about 150 gallons of water.

Water makes up almost two-thirds of the human body, and seventy percent of the brain.

Four hundred gallons of water are recycled through our kidneys each day.

Water makes up 80% of an earthworm, 70% of a chicken, and 70% of an elephant

Water makes up 90% of a tomato, 80% of pineapples and corn, and 70% of a tree.

About 60,000 public water systems across the United States process 34 billion gallons of water per day for home and commercial use. Eighty-five percent of the population is served by these facilities. The remaining 15 percent rely on private wells and other sources.

You can refill an 8 oz. glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six pack of soda pop. And, water has no sugar or caffeine.

An average of 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States. That's tapping into our underground water supplies at approximately 100 times each hour for domestic, farming, and commercial needs.

The United States and Canada have about one million miles of pipelines and aqueducts -- enough to circle the planet 40 times.

How does the water cycle work?
Heat from the sun causes water to become a gas, or vapor. This is called evaporation. As the earth's surface warms, rising currents of air carry the water vapor upwards. The water vapor becomes cooler as it rises, and condenses into tiny drops, forming clouds. These drops join together and fall back to the earth as rain, hail or snow.

Rainfall may:

  • Evaporate directly from water, land or vegetation.
  • Run off the land into streams and wetlands.
  • Soak a little way into the ground, be absorbed by plant roots and then return to the water vapor in the air by evapotranspiration from the leaves of plants.
  • Soak deeper into the ground and add to the groundwater, moving slowly along the direction of groundwater flow toward rivers, wetlands, or the sea.