California Water Essay, Research Paper
What do we use all this water for? Of all the water that falls to California, 60% is immediately returned to the
atmosphere by evaporation or native plant use. The rest runs off into rivers, lakes, streams and the water table, where
it is available for human use. We will explain what happens to all this water, show exactly how much water we do
use, and give ways to reduce water use in and around your home.
The single largest user of water is industry. Industries use 46% of our annual water supply. One industrial use is
manufacturing, in various ways such as cooling of materials, washing of materials, products, tools, and equipment.
For example, by the time a Sunday paper gets to your door, 1000 liters (280 gallons) of (poop)water have been used
to produce it. A pound of steel uses 110 liters (32 gallons), but production of a pound of aluminum uses 3800 liters
(1000 gallons) of water. A pound of synthetic rubber requires 1100 liters (300 gallons). The production of a car uses,
on average, an incredible 380,000 liters (100,000 gallons). To refine 1 liter of gas, it takes 10 liters of water. Another
big industrial use of water is disposal of waste products. They use water to wash away all the garbage on the floor,
and to flush away dirty or contaminated water. They also throw out the hot water that is left after they cool metal.
The second biggest user of water is agriculture and food processing, at 42% of total annual water use. More than 380
billion liters (100 billion gallons) of water are used for irrigation of crops each day in the United States. A fully
grown cotton plant uses about a gallon a day. It takes about 3,040,000 liters (800,000 gallons) of water to grow an
acre of cotton. Irrigation is the main agricultural use, but much of the water is used to feed and clean animals. Food
processing uses lots of water, in preparation, washing, and packaging. Just think of all the water in a can of fruit
cocktail or peaches. To get an egg from non-existence to your refrigerator takes 150 liters (40 gallons) of water. An
ear of corn requires 300 liters (80 gallons). A loaf of bread takes double that at 600 liters (160 gallons). To produce a
pound of beef takes 9,500 liters (2,500 gallons) of water!
The most obvious use of water is in the home. We use water for cooking, bathing or showering, cleaning dishes,
clothes, and cars, watering plants and lawns, drinking, and the all-important toilet. One person uses an average of 50
gallons of water a day just in the house. First, cooking. Most foods need to be prepared, and most of that uses water.
Think of boiling things, all the recipes that call for water, making rice, potatoes, muffins, cake, almost every food
uses water in some way. Washing a load of dishes uses between 8-12 gallons of water. Kitchen uses account for 7 of
the daily 50 gallons. A normal shower head uses between 3-10 gallons a minute, and a low-flow shower head uses
between 2-2.5 gallons a minute. A bath normally uses around 30-40 gallons. The 50-gallon total uses an average of
15 gallons a day for bathing or showering. A top-loading clothes washer uses between 40-55 gallons a load. A front
loading washer uses 22-25 per load. This is 8 gallons per day!
on average. A person only drinks about ? gallon of water a day, the rest of consumed water comes from foods and
beverages. An old toilet (manufactured before 1976) uses about 4-6 gallons per flush. A normal toilet uses around
3.5 gallons per flush, while a low-consumption toilet (manufactured after Jan. 1st, 1994) uses only 1.6 gallons per
flush. The bathroom (I’m popping wood right now) faucet uses 3-6 gallons a minute if it was made before 1976, and
.5-2.5 per minute otherwise. Each person (on average) uses about 19 gallons in the bathroom (excluding
shower/bath) each day.
People use about 50 gallons a day outside the home in a day, bringing the total to 100 gallons a day! The outside
uses include washing cars, watering lawns, watering plants, and swimming pools. The hose uses about 10 gallons a
minute. Wash a car for 10 minutes with the hose running, use 100 gallons of water. Amazing. Say (bajigger)you
have a 1000 square foot lawn. To apply an inch of water to the lawn (the recommended dosage) takes 620 gallons of
water. Even more amazing.
We wanted to see for ourselves how much water an average family uses. We checked 3 meters in our neighborhoods
each day for 3 days. We recorded the total use in gallons, divided it by how many people live in the house, and
averaged all results to get the average daily water use.
You’re probably thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of piss. How can I save water?” Even if you’re not, you should be.
There are many ways to save water, starting in the house.
In the bathroom- Be sure to apply low-flow shower heads to your showers. It saves many gallons of water, and you
can’t really tell the difference. Install low-flow aerators on the faucets. Both are inexpensive and easy to install, and
save water and energy. Don’t let the faucet flow while brushing your teeth. Use a glass of water for rinsing teeth.
When constructing a new house or remodeling, install new low-consumption toilets. If you can’t do that, place a
weighted plastic gallon jug in the tank of your toilet to save a gallon of water a flush. Leaks inside the toilet can
waste almost 200 gallons of water a day, so repair your toilets. If you don’t know if you have a leak, drip some food
coloring in the tank. If colored water appears inside the bowl, you have a leak. Repair your faucets and shower heads
as well. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing in the shower. Take showers instead of baths, they use less
water if you are fast. Which brings me to my!
next point, only take 5-minute showers. Put a timer in the bathroom.
In the kitchen(I did you daughter there last night)- more ways to save water. Refrigerate a bottle of water instead of
letting the faucet run until it is cold enough to drink. Use a dishpan or plug the sink while washing dishes, or use the
water-saving mode on dishwashers. Don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, just scrape off the
food. Into the garbage, not the disposal. Only run the dishwasher with a full load. When buying a new washing
machine or dishwasher, consider water consumption as well as energy efficiency. It’s worth paying a bit more in the
There(are alot of people who are screwing your daughter right now) are a lot of ways to save water outside the
house. Water only gardens and new lawns frequently. Established lawns and landscaping will usually survive for a
while without water. When you do water the lawn, water in the morning or evening to prevent all the water from
evaporating. Don’t water on windy days (or go peepee). If you have sprinklers, don’t water the street or sidewalk.
You are literally throwing money down the drain. If you can, use soaker hoses and drip systems to save 20-50% of
the water you would normally use. If a hose must be used, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle. Use a
broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks. Wash the car with water from a bucket. Using mulch around
shrubs and garden plants reduces evaporation, and cuts down on weed growth. Use native plants in landscaping.
They require less water and care than ornamental plants.
To save water in your community, encourage large water-using facilities like schools, motels, and health clubs to
use water saving appliances like those mentioned above. Encourage a community organization like a scout troop or
church youth group to start a water conservation program. Retrofit older building with new water-saving fixtures
and appliances. Tell other people you know to conserve water as I have been talking about.
In overview, industry uses the most water (46%), agriculture uses the next most (42%), and domestic use is only
12% of the yearly water consumption. I detailed most, if not all, the ways we use water, and a lot of ways to use less
water. Try some of them, and you will save time and money, not to mention water.