Do you know how much water was used to grow your food and to produce your clothes and the things you buy?
Do you know how much water was used to grow your food and to produce your clothes and the things you buy? It is a surprising amount. You may not see this 'invisible’ water, but it accounts for most of the water you use, far more than you use from the tap.
And you’d probably be surprised at how much you use and consume directly from the tap. Average residential water consumption in the New Plymouth supply area is 334 litres per person a day. The average cow makes do with 70 litres a day.
Thirsty for more
Who or what uses most water? The answer may surprise you.
Average residential water consumption in the New Plymouth supply area is 334 litres per person a day (L/p/d), putting it in the top-third for water consumption among provincial councils. The New Zealand average is 275 L/p/d, Australia’s national average is 195 L/p/d and in the Netherlands it is 119 L/p/d. (source: NPDC website)
The average dairy cow makes do with just 70 L/p/d (including drinking, shed washdown, milk cooling and so on).
According to www.waterfootprint.org(external link), it takes about 1200 litres of water to produce a loaf of bread, between 110 and 370 litres to grow a cabbage or lettuce, 1300 litres to produce a large pizza and 4300 litres for a kilogram of chicken. A 250 ml cup of coffee or a glass of wine requires about 260 litres of water, and sugar is around 9 litres per teaspoonful and chocolate effectively soaks up 18,000 litres per kilogram. A cotton shirt requires 2500 litres and a pair of jeans requires 8000 litres.
In terms of wastewaters, we flush down our drains dissolved copper and cadmium and nickel and platinum and oil and asbestos (along with bird droppings and dog poo) from our roads, detergents and sanitizers and disinfectants and whiteners and enzymes from our laundries, caustic dishwashing liquid and glass shine additives, and all manner of medications, hormonal regulators, antiperspirants, cosmetics, perfumes, food stabilisers, shampoos, hair bleaches and dyes, surplus vitamins and antibiotics from our homes.
So water use (and misuse) is an issue for all in the community, not just one group.