By Michael Benninger
Of the 326 million trillion gallons of water on this planet, less than 1 percent is potable. Saltwater accounts for 97 percent; the other two percent is stuck in glaciers and at the Poles... for now, anyway. That leaves just a smidge of the good stuff for humans, animals and plants. It's not a drop in a bucket, it's a drop in a planet. Big gulp? Probably not for long. Drink up.
? What a Load of Crops - Agriculture accounts for about 92 percent of the 2,400 trillion (that's 2,400,000,000,000) gallons of water humans use each year.
? Up a Creek - While global population has doubled in the past 40 years, freshwater consumption has quadrupled. at this rate, 40 percent of countries may face extreme freshwater scarcity by 2020.
Unquenchable States of America
? Aquaholics - although the U.S. constitutes only five percent of the planet's population, 'Mericans consume more freshwater than any country except China and india, which each have triple the U.S. population.
? Power, Plants - of all the water used in the U.S., the bulk goes toward electric power (41.5 percent) and irrigation (37 percent). Domestic uses - including cooking, bathing and gardening - account for 8.5 percent.
? Reservoir Hogs - The typical american's annual water usage exceeds 600,000 gallons. That's double the global average and roughly the capacity of an olympic-sized swimming pool.
? Stream On -San Diego imports 168 million gallons of water daily, mostly from the Colorado River and California Delta. if bottled in gallon jugs laid end to end, that amount would more than encircle Earth.
? Daily Douse - The typical San Diegan uses 88 gallons of water each day. That's less than the national average of 100 gallons, and 12 times the amount used by residents of the african country Senegal.
? Toxic Tonic - Before reaching the tap, San Diegans' water is diverted to one of three plants to be treated for viruses, bacteria, salts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, organic chemicals and radioactive contaminants.
? Oral Obligation - In 2011, to comply with state regulations, the City of San Diego began fluoridating local water with fluorosilicic acid to reduce the public's tooth decay.
? Tide-Dyed - producing a single cotton shirt uses 713 gallons of water. Making a pair of jeans takes 2,600 gallons. Cotton crops consume most of that water.
? Wet Wear - odds are, the outfit you're wearing took more than 4,000 gallons of water to produce. Wearing leather? Fuhgeddaboudit. Raising livestock requires using even higher amounts of water.
? Steer Clear - Americans eat 4.5 times as much beef as the global average. This craving for carne accounts for 30 percent of the nation's water consumption.
? Holy Cow - Producing a single pound of boneless beef requires 19,000 gallons of water. Most of that is used to grow the grain and corn the cows eat. H2Omg
? Pour Planning - it takes seven liters of water to produce a one-liter bottle of water. Each glass of water served at a restaurant requires at least two more glassfuls to wash it.