Water, Water, Everywhere?

By Maggie Rulli 09.18.2012 blog

Before my shoot with The Thirst Project, I thought I knew a decent amount about water consumption.

I mean, I knew that when I turned on the sink, out would come as much water as I needed. I also knew that not everyone was as lucky, and that many people in the world don?t have access to water. So I would turn off the faucet when I brushed my teeth, and maybe try to take shorter showers. And while every little bit counts ?- little did I realize how much water I was actually using.

Get ready for some numbers that will really knock you over.

The average American uses over 1000 gallons of water a day. You know the large of milk you buy at the grocery store? That?s a gallon. Now imagine 1000 of them ? that?s how much water we use every single day. That?s a lot. In comparison, the average person living in Uganda uses around 7 gallons of water per day.

Use, in these cases, refers to embodied water ? and this is where my mind was blown even more. Embodied water (sometimes referred to as virtual water) takes into consideration not only the water one uses for drinking and washing, but also the amount of water it takes to make the goods that we consume and use every day.

O.K., gear up for some more numbers. Here?s all the surprising ways I consume water every single day without even knowing it:

  • My morning cup of joe? 34 gallons of water used.
  • My T-Shirt? Took 660 gallons of water to make. And let?s tack on another 2,113 gallons to complete the look with a sweet new pair of jeans. And if I decide to get fancy with a pair of leather heels? Whelp, that?s another 2113 gallons right there.
  • My chocolate obsession is gonna set me back 450 gallons for every 100 gram bar.
  • The lamp on my desk? It takes about 16 gallons of water to stay lit for 12 hours.
  • Ready for this one?? If I decide to buy a brand new car?that?s 105,669 gallons, or enough to fill eight full hockey rinks.

To sum it all up: Water is required (and often a whole lot of it is necessary) to make every single consumer good we use.

For more information on water consumption, global water scarcity, and how you can make a difference, check out these links:


To learn more about The Thirst Project, watch the video below, or check out their website.

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