Earth, the water planet
- There is the same amount of water on Earth as there was when the Earth was formed. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.
- The most common substance found on Earth is water. Water is the only substance found naturally in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas.
- Nearly 97 percent of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2 percent is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1 percent for all of humanity’s needs – all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs.
- The amount of water is constant and recycled throughout time. A water molecule stays in the ocean for 98 years, in ice for 20 months, and in lakes and rivers for two weeks.
- Land, water, and air are all part of a deeply interconnected system. What we pour on the ground ends up in our water, and what we spew in the sky ends up in our water.
Water. May I have another glass please?
- Water regulates the Earth’s temperature. It also regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes. It is recommended to drink 6–8 glasses of water each day.
- Water makes up 83 percent of our blood, 75 percent of our brain, and 90 percent of our lungs. Overall, our bodies are 70 percent water.
- A tomato is about 95 percent water. An apple, a pineapple, and an ear of corn are each 80 percent water. A living tree is about 75 percent water.
- A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
Water use at home
- The average total home water use for each person in North Texas is about 100 gallons a day. During medieval times, a person used only five gallons per day.
- Two-thirds of the water your family uses indoors is in the bathroom. About two gallons of water are used when you brush your teeth. Flushing a newer-model toilet uses less than two gallons per flush. Older models require three to seven gallons of water. A 10-minute shower with a water-efficient showerhead uses 25 or less gallons of water.
- The average cost of drinking water from the tap in North Texas is about $2.50 for 1,000 gallons, which equals about 4 gallons for one penny.
- An acre-foot of water, equal to the volume of water on an acre of land covered 12 inches high, is about 326,000 gallons. One-half of an acre-foot of water is enough to meet the needs of a typical family for a year. Texans use about 16.5 million acre-feet per year.
- It takes 3.3 acre-feet of water to grow enough food for an average family for a year.
- A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons a day.
- One cycle of a sprinkler system can use between 1,000–4,000 gallons depending on the size of the yard and controller settings.
Texas water resources
- Of all the water we use in Texas, about 60 percent is groundwater; the other 40 percent is surface water. For North Texas, over 90 percent of water supplies come from surface water resources.
- Texas has about 500 times more water underground than anything you see sitting on the surface. In fact, all of the water in Texas rivers and lakes makes up on 0.2 percent of the water in the state.
- There is no river in Texas that gets less than 15 percent of its flow from groundwater.
- Texas has an estimated 6,700 dams and reservoirs. Only one lake in Texas formed naturally – Caddo Lake.