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ECONOTES : Sprinkling of Stats on a Watery Topic


There are lots of dry subjects, but water isn't one of them. Consider:

* If all Earth's water fit in a gallon jug, available fresh water would equal just more than a tablespoon--less than half of 1% of the total.

* Earth has virtually the same amount of water today as it did when dinosaurs roamed the planet, but only 3% of the water is fresh--and two-thirds of that is ice.

* Some 4 trillion gallons of precipitation fall on the United States every day, but much of that disappears in evaporation and runoff.

* To produce a gallon of milk, a dairy cow must drink four gallons of water. But it takes double that amount of water to grow a single tomato.

* A healthy person can live for a month without food but will die in less than a week without fresh water.

* The United States uses more water to produce electricity than for any other purpose.

* The typical U.S. household uses about 100 gallons of water per person per day, while two-thirds of the people in the world use less than 13 gallons each.

* Southern Californians are the nation's biggest users--with the bulk of the water soaked up by irrigated fields.

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