Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Rethinking water

Photo from Flickr by: malla_mi

Turn on tap full. Let water run. Lather hands. Rinse with water. Turn off water. Dry hands.

Until this week the above is how I would always wash my hands. It has taken a major disaster and water shortage for me to realize that I’ve been doing it wrong all along.

Do you think about the water you waste?

Do you take long showers? I did. Do you flush the toilet after dropping a tissue in? I did.

Eric Schuff wrote an excellent blog post at the Tennessean about the water shortage. They have even made several PDFs that you should share with your friends and local businesses.

This is not just a post for my friends in Nashville, it’s a post for everyone. Think about how much water you waste in a day.

The problem isn’t just local, it’s global.

Here are a few facts you should know from

  • 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease. (10)
  • 43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea. (10)
  • 84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 – 14. (10)
  • 98% of water-related deaths occur in the developing world. (10)
  • 884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people. (5)
  • The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. (1)
  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease. (1)
  • Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use. (11)
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day. (1)
  • About a third of people without access to an improved water source live on less than $1 a day. More than two thirds of people without an improved water source live on less than $2 a day. (1)
  • Poor people living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city. (1)
  • Without food a person can live for weeks, but without water you can expect to live only a few days. (4)
  • The daily requirement for sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, as well as for assuring survival, is about 13.2 gallons per person. (3)

Photo from Flickr by: malla_mi

Are you rethinking water too?


View more posts from this author
  • Great thoughts Dave. I would add that wasting water isn't just a problem in the developed world. I've walked along the streets of oases in the Sahara where the locals pumped perhaps 50 gallons per minute of fresh water from deep wells only to spill out onto the street for no other purpose than they could. One would think these of all people would be much more careful with their water.

  • Interesting Bryan. Thanks for the

  • Living in Israel, I am very conscious of saving water. My kids even more so. They keep reprimanding us if we don't turn off the water while brushing our teeth or washing our hands!

  • That's a great way to be. Our kids are still learning too.

    Thanks Anne.