Drinking Water Shortage
When Will We Run Out of Water?

women drinking alcohol

by Jonah


If we keep on drinking water at the same rate that we have been drinking, how long will it take until we run out of water?


Interesting question and my answer is this:  I have no idea.

However, I will say that I don’t think how much water we drink is really the main issue when it comes to water scarcity.

The issue in long-term water shortage has much more to do with water pollution and water waste than it does with how much water we drink.

There is no doubt in my mind that if we (all human beings) would stop polluting our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans today, we would never run out of drinking water. 

Just check out these 20 Water Pollution Facts to get a glimpse of the enormity of the water pollution problem.

The same goes with water waste.

Did you know the average U.S. household uses the equivalent of about 350 gallons of water a day? 

If each person in a 4-person household drinks a full 2 quarts (which is highly unlikely), that is only 2 gallons of water a day.  So you can see that the amount of water we actually drink is minimal compared to how much water we use (directly or indirectly).  

The food we eat accounts for over 50 percent of our water usage because of how much water is needed to grow food and raise livestock.

Certain foods require far less water than other types of food. Meat and dairy product require nearly ten times the amount of water than most plant-based foods.

According to the USGS Water Science School, “Livestock water use is associated with livestock watering, feedlots, dairy operations, and other on-farm needs. This includes water for raising cows, chickens, horses, rabbits, fish, and pets, and also water used in the production of meats, poultry, eggs, and milk."

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the farmed animal industry puts a major strain on our water supply. They say that nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes toward raising livestock for food. 

“It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!”

In addition, there is the problem of further water contamination from factory farm runoff. According to the the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.

I am not suggesting that we all become vegans to conserve water and reduce water pollution. The vegan diet may or may not be the best health choice or even the lifestyle choice for everyone. 

However, I believe it is safe to say that most people would benefit from not eating meat at least one or two days a week, which would also reduce our overall water usage considerably. 

Reducing animal consumption is just one of many ways to conserve water, and drinking less water is not one of our recommendations.

You might want to check out these simple ways to conserve water and reduce your water footprint.


PETA.org: Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources

Return from Drinking Water Shortage to World Water Scarcity

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