New Research Shows Most Americans are Unaware of Their Daily Water Consumption
Dec 06, 2021
According to new research conducted by global research agency Opinium on behalf of American Water, Americans underestimate the amount of water they use daily by 90%.
Most believe they use less than 100 gallons of water each day, when the actual number is more than 2,000 gallons on average (according to Water Footprint Network). This figure considers the water consumed by individuals directly (e.g. dishwashing or watering the lawn) and indirectly (e.g. the water required to produce food). With the majority of Americans underestimating their own personal water usage, the study also found a lack of awareness for water consumption in specific areas of their lives as well.
Ahead of the annual observance of the Value of Water’s Imagine a Day Without Water on October 21st, the survey asked a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 Americans to reflect on their daily water consumption and how much water is required to produce many common items we consume daily. The findings revealed that – regardless of gender, homeownership, or age – Americans are largely unaware of just how large their water footprint is and the variety of ways water impacts their everyday lives.
“We all know water is a vital part of our daily lives for drinking and basic hygiene, but we often don’t consider the water needed to produce the foods we eat or even the clothes we wear,” said Dr. Lauren Weinrich, Principal Scientist, Water Research & Development at American Water. “As part of our commitment to provide clean, safe, reliable drinking water for our customers, it’s important to raise public awareness of the true value of water. During this year’s Imagine a Day Without Water, we want to help educate our customers on the importance of water, but also ways they can participate in the efforts to support water efficiency and conservation.”
The study revealed Americans’ various underestimations of water consumption for products they likely use every day:
- Almost 90 million Americans believe it takes no water at all to make a pair of jeans.
- In reality, a fresh pair of jeans requires around 2,600 gallons to make.
- It takes 713 gallons of water to make a new cotton t-shirt to pair with those jeans.
- Americans believe it takes just 136. Americans believe it takes 158 gallons of water to produce a smartphone, but the actual amount is more than 3,400.
With fall right around the corner, Americans are looking forward to enjoying the season’s special events – like gathering around the table for holiday dinners. However, most people aren’t aware of just how much water goes into producing these fall-favorites. Americans drastically underestimated the water needed to make:
-One 16-pound holiday turkey takes 4,688 gallons vs. estimated 158 gallons
-A pecan pie takes 1,068 gallons vs. the estimated 135 gallons; and a pumpkin pie takes 458 gallons vs. the estimated 135 gallons
- The traditional green bean casserole – with fried onions on top! – takes 547 gallons of water to hit the holiday dinner table vs. the estimated 116 gallons
The company created an infographic to depict key findings of the study, which you can read more about here. For more information on Pennsylvania American Water and how you can reduce your water footprint, visit https://www.amwater.com/paaw/water-information/wise-water-use.
More News and Articles
Mar 29, 2023
Water management: Spain invests nearly 23 billion euros
The Spanish government improves its water management and will invest nearly 23 billion euros to comply with European Water Directives.
Mar 27, 2023
UN World Water Day 2023: How municipalities can accelerate the water transformation
The United Nations is proclaiming the motto “Accelerating Change” for World Water Day on 22 March. The message: because the pressure on drinking water reserves is increasing worldwide, the change towards sustainable water use must be accelerated.
Mar 24, 2023
Innovative technologies remove pharmaceutical residues from wastewater
Every year on 22 March, World Water Day reminds us of the importance of one of the most important resources of life. Almost two-thirds of our planet is covered with water, but not even three percent is drinkable freshwater. Every …
Mar 22, 2023
Delivering sustainable solutions to solve water challenges
With British Water’s conference on creating a more sustainable water sector approaching, Stephen Kennedy, head of digital and innovation at MWH Treatment shares his views on celebrating recent successes in creating a more sustainable sector while also discussing the challenge …
Mar 20, 2023
Supporting the National Water Strategy through scientific research
This month, the federal government of Germany introduced the first National Water Strategy. “With this strategy, the federal government is shining a spotlight on the necessity of integrated water resource management, serving as a leading example of resource use in …
Mar 17, 2023
Trenchless manufacturer celebrates installation of 100,000th liner
SAERTEX multiCom®’s trenchless pipe relining product, SAERTEX-LINER, has been installed for the 100,000th time.
Mar 13, 2023
Spring collaborates with Microsoft and Impact X on water innovation
The water sector’s innovation centre of excellence – Spring - is collaborating with Microsoft and Impact X on a new initiative to make tools and funding available for start-ups to accelerate their companies.
Mar 10, 2023
State of Global Water Resources report informs on rivers, land water storage and glaciers
WMO reports on freshwater availability in a changing climate
Mar 08, 2023
Australia: Centenarian sewer gets after-dark upgrade
Over 100 years since its inception, Brisbane’s S1 Main Sewer has undergone a seven-year upgrade.
Mar 06, 2023
UKWIR gives access to hundreds of water sector research reports
UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) is providing free access to over 1,000 of its water sector research reports aimed at helping to improve water and wastewater services for customers, and protecting the environment.
Mar 03, 2023
Sector must challenge public misconceptions through engagement
The water sector must tackle “unfair criticisms” by sharing more about the great work it delivers, Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, Nicola Shaw, told attendees at British Water’s Better Together reception in Hull.
Mar 01, 2023
World-first project to ‘self heal’ cracked concrete using sludge could save $1.4 billion repair bill to Australia’s sewer pipes
Water treatment sludge could be used to prevent 117,000 kilometres of sewer pipes in Australia from cracking in future, without any intervention by humans, helping to save $1.4 billion in annual maintenance costs.
Director, Communications & External Affairs Laura Martin
1 Water St
+1 304 932 7158