Magic Fresh Water Figures

9% — The average withdrawal of fresh water by humans around the globe. This breaks down to 8.4% in North-America, 18.1% in Asia, 6.4% in Europe, 2% in Latin America, and 5.6% in Africa, according to the UN World Water Development Report from 2000.water rhapsody

1,664 — That’s how many cubic meters of water that the average North-American uses in a year, the highest amount per person in the world by far. In second place is Asia with 644 cubic meters. The world average is 626 cubic meters of water per person/year.

Photo: Flickr, CC

1,000 — That’s how many liters of water it takes to grow a kilogram of wheat. That might seem a lot, but…

15,000 — That’s how many liters of water it takes to get a kilogram of beef. The meaty diet of most North-Americans and Europeans uses around 5,000 liters of water a day, while they use around 100-250 liters to drink and wash. If you want to reduce your water consumption, think about what you eat.

70-80% — Agriculture uses around 70-80% of the water used by humans. If you look at it from the glass-half-full (no pun intended) angle, you’ll find that the use of water for agriculture in most places is very inefficient, so big gains could easily be made.

30% — Just changing irrigation practices can improve water efficiency by 30%, and more than that is probably possible by using techniques developed in countries that don’t get much rain (Israel, etc).

9 Billion — Trade can also help. The US is about twice as water-efficient as Mexico when it comes to growing cereals. So when Mexico imports cereals from the US, it is also “saving” water. This is estimated to be 9 billion cubic meters of water for the US-Mexico trade.