Americans Waste 1 Trillion gallons of water Each year

Just to put it into perspective this article I found in the Washington Post has analogies of what 1 trillion gallons of water is:

“* It’s 9 percent of the total water needed to end the California drought, according to NASA (which reported in December that the state has a water deficit of 11 trillion gallons).

* It’s about 40 million swimming pools and 24 billion baths.

* It’s about equal to the capacity of Florida’s vast Lake Okeechobee.

The Environmental protection Agency estimates that Americans alone waste this amount of water from things such as “leaky kitchen and bathroom faucets, malfunctioning toilets,(and) errant sprinkler systems”. The leaks that are preventable are adding up and actually contributing a large portion gallons of unused wasted water.The EPA has responded with a campaign called Fix a Leak Week that aims on raising awareness and hopefully stopping leaks that when combined add up to a lot of water wasted.

Personally I was curious about the math used to calculate these figures, I found that the article used a tool from the US geological survey to calculate how much water is wasted. The assumption is that one faucet that leaks at one drip per minute adds up to 34 gallons per year in wasted water. For every million homes with one leaky faucet the amount of wasted gallons per year is 34 million. I personally think this estimate is low and that there is a concentration of leaky faucets in certain houses that have old piping. That being said the epidemic of wasting water needs to stop. We should all do our best to use water at a reasonable rate while monitoring the leaks at our house that end up costing money and wasting water.

5 thoughts on “Americans Waste 1 Trillion gallons of water Each year

  1. By putting 1 trillion gallons of water into human terms, imagining this number is much easier. However, it is frightening to know that we can waste this much water without even realizing it. I also believe that individually, people don’t think that making little changes to help the environment will make a difference, but starting small can impact the world.

  2. I agree with you when you say we need to work to solve the issue of leaky faucets but unfortunately the current solution to this issue is just too expensive to make a difference. I researched higher technology, no-leak faucets and the average price of the faucets is ~$400. It is unrealistic to assume all homes in the U.S. will be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to get a new faucet when the ones in place appear to be working just fine. However I wonder if more people were informed about how much money they’re spending on their water bills due to leaky faucets compared to the cost of a new, higher technology faucets if they would be willing to pay for a new faucet…

  3. It is hard to believe that leaky faucets waste that much water each year. Do you think that Fix a Leak Week will be successful in raising awareness about this issue? I agree with Marielle that most people will not spend $400 on a new faucet and will instead try to fix the existing one that is leaking.

  4. Good stuff Ryan. These numbers are wild, and hopefully Fix a Leak Week well help to fix some of these issues. I agree with the other comments in that believing homeowners would spend that much money on updating their piping is somewhat unrealistic, however maybe monitoring our piping just a little more could lead to some drastic, positive improvements.

  5. I’m astonished that so much water is wasted per year, especially with 34 gallons per year wasted from one faucet dripping at a rate of one drip per minute! The house I live in at Union has very old plumbing, and our bathroom sink definitely drips much more than one drip per minute, meaning that we are wasting much more than 34 gallons of water per year, which is really awful for our environment. Newer plumbing would contribute to more sustainable practices in using fresh water.

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