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How the Average American Wastes Water

Water, water, everywhere… If you’re like most people, you probably never think about the amount of water you use every day. It’s not like money, that you can earn, borrow, or loan to your kids – just turn on a tap and it flows. From brushing your teeth in the morning, to that elegant fountain downtown, water is a resource that is largely taken for granted. However, when you see how much we use, and waste, you may be surprised.


First, check out our water footprint. No, it’s not the footprint you leave when you run around the pool, it’s actually the total amount of water used in the country. And this number is expressed in cubic meters (1 cubic meter is 264.172 gallons).


According to Scientific American, America’s water footprint measures in at 1.053 billion cubic meters per year (that’s 278,173,171,133.1 gallons). Yes, China and India use more water generally, but we are close to their overall usage with a much smaller population than either of these countries. As individual Americans, we use more water per person than anyone else on the planet.


How do we use so much water? Easy. Keeping our lawns growing, filling swimming pools, not fixing leaky pipes, you name it. And the biggest water drain? The EPA estimates that 27% of our indoor water usage comes from the toilet. This number is even higher for older bathrooms.

Surprisingly, making water more expensive doesn’t seem to help. Even if you have to borrow money from your aunt to pay the water bill, chances are you will still use a lot. What can help? Step one is understanding how much water is wasted every day.


Try some of these changes for yourself. Over the year you could save thousands of dollars for yourself, and help insurance that there is enough water for future generations.

How the Average American Wastes Water


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