Water Facts and Trivia

Facts and trivia on different subjects concerning water

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About water chemistry and water movement:



1. Most of the earth's surface consists of water; there is much more water than there is land.

2. Water can not only be found on the surface, but also in the ground and in the air.

3. There is the same amount of water on earth as there was when the earth was formed. The water that came from your faucet could contain molecules that Neanderthals drank…

4. The overall amount of water on our planet has remained the same for two billion years.

5. There are two kinds of water; salt water and freshwater. Salt water contains great amounts of salt, whereas freshwater has a dissolved salt concentration of less than 1%. Only freshwater can be applied as drinking water.

6. Water consists of three atoms, 2 Hydrogen atoms and an Oxygen atom, that are bond together due to electrical charges.

7. The weight of a water molecule depends on the number of moles present, as it is 18 grams per mole.

8. Water moves around the earth in a water cycle. The water cycle has five parts: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration and surface run-off.

9. In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere.

10. Groundwater can take a human lifetime just to traverse a mile.

11. Most of the earth's surface water is permanently frozen or salty.

12. Water regulates the earth's temperature.

13. Water freezes at zero degrees Celcius.

14. Water vaporizes at a hundred degrees Celcius.

15. Water is the only substance that is found naturally on earth in three forms: liquid, gas, solid.

16. If water changes phase its physical appearance changes due to parting of water molecules. In the solid phase the water molecules are close together and in the gaseous phase they are the furthest apart.

17. Frozen water is 9% lighter than water, which is why ice floats on water.

18. A litre of water weighs 1.01 kilograms.

19. It doesn't take much salt to make water "salty." If one-thousandth (or more) of the weight of water is from salt, then the water is "saline."

20. Saline water can be desalinated for use as drinking water by going through a process to remove the salt from the water.

21. When water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, it is called hard water. Hard water is not suited for all purposes water is normally used for.

22. To determine water quality certified agencies take samples that are tested in a laboratory. The samples are tested on various factors, to determine if they suffice water quality standards.

23. Each country has its own water quality standards that determine to which degree water should be purified, depending on the purpose it will be used for.

About water quantities:

1. As oceans are very wide and there are multiple to be found on earth, oceans store most of the earth's water. This is apparently 97% of the total amount of water on earth, 2% of which is frozen.

2. 80% of the earth's water is surface water. The other 20% is either ground water or atmospheric water vapour.

3. Of all the water on earth, only 2,5% is fresh water. Fresh water is either groundwater (0,5%), or readily accessible water in lakes, streams, rivers, etc. (0,01%).

4. If all the world's water were fit into a gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon.

5. Over 90% of the world's supply of fresh water is located in Antarctica.

6. Less than 1% of the water supply on earth can be used as drinking water.

7. The earth's total amount of water has a volume of about 344 million cubic miles.
· 315 million cubic miles is seawater.
· 9 million cubic miles is groundwater in aquifers.
· 7 million cubic miles is frozen in polar ice caps.
· 53,000 cubic miles of water pass through the planet's lakes and streams.
· 4,000 cubic miles of water is atmospheric moisture.
· 3,400 cubic miles of water are locked within the bodies of living things.

8. Approximately 66% of the human body consists of water. Water exists within all our organs and it is transported throughout our body to assist physical functions.

9. The total amount of water in the body of an average adult is 37 litres.

10. Human brains are 75% water.

11. Human bones are 25% water.

12. Human blood is 83% water.

13. 75% of a chicken is water.

14. 80% of a pineapple is water.

15. 95% of a tomato is water.

16. 70% of an elephant is water.

17. Each day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water.

18. A single tree will give off 265 liters (70 gallons) of water per day in evaporation.

19. An acre of corn will give off 15,000 litres (4,000 gallons) of water per day in evaporation.

20. A small drip from a faucet can waste as much as 75 litres of water a day.

21. The amount of water we deliver on a hot summer day, 308 million litres (80 million gallons), could fill 1.28 billion cups of coffee.

About water & health:

1. A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water. If a human does not absorb enough water dehydration is the result.

2. A person must consume 2 litres of water daily to live healthily. Humans drink an average of 75.000 litres of water throughout their life.

3. Humans cannot drink salt water.

4. More than 2 billion people on earth do not have a safe supply of water.

5. Water regulates the temperature of the human body. If you have caught a fever you should drink lots of water.

6. Water removes waste from the human body.

7. You should never drink water straight from a lake or river, as it can be damaging to your health.

8. If you live in an old house with lead pipelines you could get health problems. Due to weathering of the pipelines lead can end up in your tap water.

9. Your drinking water may be fluoridated to help prevent dental cavities.

10. Water leaves the stomach five minutes after consumption.

11. Centres for Disease Control receive notification of more than 4,000 cases per year of illness due to drinking water contamination.

12. A quarter of the world's population is without safe drinking water.

13. Water can cause serious health damage when it is contaminated by bacteria and other microrganisms.

14. In most cities and towns, drinking water from the tap is treated so that people don't get sick with diseases such as cholera and typhoid, which are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites found naturally in the water.

About water use and saving water:

1. Humans use more and more water each year.

2. Americans use five times the amount of water that Europeans use.

3. Humans daily use about 190 litres (50 gallons) of water.

4. A person pays about 25 cents for water use on a daily basis.

5. Two thirds of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom.

6. To flush a toilet we use 7.5 to 26.5 litres (2 to 7 gallons) of water.

7. In a five-minute shower we use 95 to 190 litres (25 to 50 gallons) of water.

8. To brush your teeth you use 7.5 litres (2 gallons) of water.

9. For an automatic dishwasher 35 to 45 litres (9 to 12 gallons) of water is used.

10. Saving a bottle of cold water in the fridge is better that taking it from the tap, because it saves time and water.

11. While brushing your teeth, instead of leaving the tap running, you should fill up a glass to rinse your mouth.

12. Baths use less water than a typical shower. Soaking in a partially filled tub will use less water than a short shower.

13. The average person spends less than 1 % of his or her total personal expenditure dollars for water, wastewater, and water disposal services.

14. Less than 1% of the water treated by public water systems is used for drinking and cooking.

15. Bottled water can be up to 1000 times more expensive than tap water and it may not be as safe.

16. Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages.

About water pollution and related problems:

1. Humans largely influence the factors that determine water quality, as they depose off their waste in water and add all kinds of substances and contaminants that are not naturally present. We now know more than 70.000 water pollutants.

2. About 450 cubic kilometres of wastewater are carried into coastal areas by rivers and streams every year. These pollution loads require an additional 6,000 cubic kilometres of freshwater to dilute the pollution. This amount equals to two-thirds of the world's total stable run-off.

3. Public water supplies must meet or exceed certain standards. The kind of standards that are used differ for each country. Many public water supplies consistently supply water that is much better than the minimum standards.

4. Four litres (1 gallon) of gasoline can contaminate approximately 2.8 million litres (750,000 gallons) of water.

5. Groundwater supplies serve about 80% of the population, whereas up to 4% of usable groundwater is already polluted.

6. There are 12,000 different toxic chemical compounds in industrial use today, and more than 500 new chemicals are developed each year.

7. Over 70,000 different water contaminants have been identified.

8. Each day almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in Third World countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.

9. Today, drinking water meets over a hundred different standards for drinking water quality.

10. The principal sources of contamination are associated with the post World War II chemical age.

11. If all new sources of contamination could be eliminated, in 10 years, 98% of all available groundwater would then be free of pollution.

12. Most of the world's people must walk at least 3 hours to fetch water.

13. Freshwater animals are disappearing five times faster than land animals.

About water as a raw material:

1. It takes 5,680 litres (1,500 gallons) of water to process one barrel of beer.

2. It takes 450 litres (120 gallons) of water to produce one egg.

3. To process one chicken we need 44 litres (11.6 gallons) of water.

4. To process one can of fruit or vegetables we need 35 litres (9.3 gallons) of water.

5. About 25,700 litres (6,800 gallons) of water is required to grow a day's food for a family of four.

6. It takes 7,000 litres (1,850 gallons) of water to refine one barrel of crude oil.

7. To manufacture new cars 148,000 litres (39,000 gallons) of water are used per car.

For terminology on water check out our water glossary



For more specific water information check out our water FAQ's







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2629 HH Delft
The Netherlands

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fax: +31 15 261 62 89

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