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How much water do you use?

How much water do you use?
How much water do you use?

Water conservation is on everyone’s mind. Water quantities and quality vary greatly across the country. One area is flooding and another is hit by drought. Some areas have high mineral content or impurities that need to be removed for safe human consumption and other areas have water that is safe right out of the stream. No matter what one’s water circumstances are, water use can be conserved through education and prudent use.

Take this water quiz to check your water use knowledge:

1. How much water does the average American use in a day?

8 gallons? 27 gallons? 8 gallons?

Answer: Actually, it's 98 gallons, as per a 2005 calculation.

2. How much greater is 98 gallons than an adult human's estimated daily water needs?

More than 3?, More than 7 x?, More than 11x?

Answer: More than seven times, or 13.2 gallons of clean water for things like drinking and hygiene, according to researcher Peter Gleick.

3. Which is a bigger drain on a household's indoor water resources- the toilet or the clothes washer?

Answer: More than a quarter of an average home's indoor water goes down the toilet (the washer comprises about 22 percent of a house's usage).

4. What percentage of people think switching to a water-efficient toilet would be the best way to conserve water?

1.5%? 4.5%? 17%?

Answer: The extremely low 1.5 percent, according to Indiana University's survey.

5. Which plumbing fixture uses more water- the shower or the bathroom faucet?

Answer: Running a regular shower for 10 minutes requires 25 gallons; a faucet uses 22 gallons in the same time, according to EPA specifications.

6. What takes more H2O:- watering the lawn for 10 minutes or driving through the automatic car wash?

Answer: Watering the lawn for 10 minutes can use 110 gallons (a car wash requires between 50 and 60 gallons).

7. What percent of people think watering their lawn less frequently would be the best way to conserve water, according to the same survey- 4.1% or 41%?

Answer: It is 4.1 percent. And yet, 12.5 percent of respondents indicated that OTHER Americans should water their lawn less.

8. How many gallons of water does an average clothes washer use for a single load of laundry?

8 gallons? 27 gallons? 62 gallons?

Answer: It's 27, although some top-loading washers can use 40 gallons. (An energy-efficient washer uses about 15.)

9. Which of the following two foods takes the most water to make, considering all stages of production- sugar or cheese?

Answer: Cheese uses more water, at about 606 gallons per pound. (Sugar uses an average of 157 gallons per pound, according to

10. Which of the following two foods takes the most water to make- coffee or rice?

Answer: Coffee is an amazing drain on water, requiring about 2,264 gallons to get one pound of roasted beans. (It takes 299 gallons of water to produce a pound of rice.)

How did you do? If you're having trouble answering these questions, don't worry, you're in good company. Most Americans are ignorant of the true water needs of their household activities. At least that's the conclusion of Indiana University researcher Shahzeen Attari, who recently asked more than a thousand people to estimate how many gallons of water it takes to sprinkle the lawn, flush the toilet, fill the bathtub, and other common at-home water uses.

Throughout the experiment, Americans showed a tendency to undervalue water consumption, on average guessing low by a full factor of two.

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