Water: How important is it to you?

For the majority of us in Asheville, water is one of those things we expect to be available when we need it. In Asheville we are truly blessed with some of the best freshwater in the county; at least until it leaves the reservoirs that is. Even after treatment it is still ranked pretty high the water quality index. We don’t think much about it until something occurs (water line breaks and such) that temporarily removes the luxury we are accustomed to. I use the word luxury intentionally because it is just that, even though we don’t think of it that way. We have become very reliant on quick, easy, consistent access to clean water; so much so that we don’t think about how integrated water is in our daily lives. Believe me, everything you do during the course of your day is in someway reliant on this natural resource. I’m not talking about the obvious things like drinking, showering & bathing, personal waste removal, washing clothes dishes, cooking and cleaning. Water is so much more to our lives than we think about; water makes everything we do possible!!!
Here are a few examples
How Many Gallons of Water does it take to make . . .
..A car: It takes an estimated 39,090 gallons of water to make a car. It’s unclear if that includes the more 2,000 gallons used to make its tires–each tire takes 518 gallons to make.
One Pair of Jeans: Takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular ol’ blue jeans.
One Barrel of Beer: 32 gallons requires 1,500 gallons of water.

One To-Go Latte: Takes 53 gallons to make every latte.

One Gallon of Paint: Takes 13 gallons of water to make.
One Ton of…                                                               
Steel: 62,000 gallons of                                          
Cement: 1,360 gallons

One Pound of . . .                                                 

Wool: 101 gallons
Cotton: 101 gallons
Plastic: 24 gallons
Synthetic Rubber: 55 gallons
Note: In general these figures have been derived from work done by Waterfootprint.org and represent gallons of water consumed per pound of food (except for beverages, in which case the volumes are listed). They represent global averages, not conditions specific to any one place.
Per pound Fruits, Vegetables & Grains:
Lettuce — 15 gallons
Tomatoes — 22 gallons
Cabbage — 24 gallons
Cucumber — 28 gallons                        
Potatoes — 30 gallons
Oranges — 55 gallons
Apples — 83 gallons
Bananas — 102 gallons
Corn — 107 gallons
Peaches or Nectarines — 142 gallons
Wheat Bread — 154 gallons
Mango — 190 gallons
Avocado — 220 gallons
Tofu — 244 gallons                                              
Groundnuts — 368 gallons
Rice — 403 gallons
Olives — 522 gallons
Chocolate — 2847 gallons
Meat & Dairy
This is where water intensity really starts increasing. If you want to reduce the water footprint of your diet, this is where you want to really cut back:
Eggs — 573 gallons
Chicken — 815 gallons
Cheese — 896 gallons
Pork — 1630 gallons
Butter — 2044 gallons
Beef — 2500-5000 gallons (Global figures for the water intensity of beef vary so significantly that an average isn’t particularly informative, so a range of figures is given)
Tea (8oz) — 7 gallons

Beer, barley (8oz) — 36 gallons

Coffee (8oz) — 29 gallons
Wine (8oz) — 58 gallons
Maybe if we pay more attention to how relevant water is in our everyday lives we’ll be less wasteful of all the things it provides us, including good health.




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