Water in America – More Fun Facts

In Blog by Helias Taliadoros

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Water Series, today’s facts are about water in America.



  • In a year, the average American residence uses over 100,000 gallons.
  • The first water pipes in the U.S. were made from hollowed logs.
  • Leaks in the New York City water supply system account for 36 million gallons of wasted water per day.
  • There are around one million miles of water pipeline and aqueducts in the U.S. and Canada, enough to circle the globe 40 times.
  • Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day; nearly half of that is used for thermo-electric power generation.
  • On average, an American resident uses about 100 gallons of water per day. Flushing the toilet actually takes up the largest amount of this water. By comparison on average, a European resident uses about 50 gallons of water per day and a resident of sub-Saharan Africa uses 2 to 5 gallons of water per day.
  • The average cost for water supplied to a home in the U.S. is about $2.00 for 1,000 gallons, which equals about 5 gallons for a penny.
  • Bottled water can be up to 1000 times more expensive than tap water and it may not be as safe. “Legally Safe” and “Totally Safe” mean two completely different things to the EPA. The CWA (Clean Water Act) regulates 9 contaminants. If tap water contains less than the maximum acceptable levels of those contaminants you water is legally safe. Yet the EPA is investigating 10,000 others that are not regulated, known to be in tap water, with safety unknown. Hence, the reason you should ‘treat’ “Legally Safe” water.
  • The United States uses nearly 80 percent of its water for irrigation and thermo-electric power.
  • Approximately 85 percent of U.S. residents receive their water from public water facilities. The remaining 15 percent supply their own water from private wells or other sources.
  • Each day, enough rain falls on the United States to cover the entire state of Vermont with 2 feet of water
  • Each day, U.S. water users withdraw enough water to fill a line of Olympic-size swimming pools that would reach around the world.
  • More than one-quarter of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply – the same place that tap water comes from.
  • The largest selling brand of bottled water (Aquafina) is treated tap water packaged by Pepsi. Not to be outdone, Coke sells it under the label Dasani.