Resources
waterfall
Introduction
Ways to Get Involved
Learn More
Cool Water Facts
Cool Water Facts
There's a lot more to water than meets the eye. Here are a few interesting, and often amazing, facts about water. You might be surprised by what you learn!
These statistics are offered as an illustration of the importance of water. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but errors may have occurred.
Bodies of Water
  • About 60% of your body is water.
  • Your brain is 75% water.
  • Your blood is 82% water.
  • Even though you could drown in just a few tablespoons, your lungs are nearly 90% water!
Global Coverage
  • Over 90% of the world's supply of freshwater is in Antarctica.
  • 1.2 billion of the world's people do not have access to clean water.
  • By 2025, 52 countries (2/3 of world population) will experience a water shortage.
  • Most of the world's people must walk at least 3 hours to fetch water.
  • If a 55-gallon drum held all the water on the planet, only 34 ounces would be groundwater. Lakes and rivers (surface freshwater) would equal about 1/2 of 1 ounce.
In America...
  • Water data is often measured in millions of gallons per day (Mgal/d). A million gallons is roughly equal to 20,000 full bathtubs. Or 694.4 gallons a minute for 1,440 minutes.
  • America consumes water at twice the rate of other industrialized nations.
  • The average American uses about 50 gallons a day at home.
  • Showering, bathing and using the toilet account for 2/3 of an average family's water usage.
  • 6.8 billion gallons of water are flushed down American toilets every day.
  • The average cost for water supplied to a home in the U.S. is about $2 per 1,000 gallons (5 gallons for 1).
  • Water used around the house accounts for only 1% of all the water used in the U.S. each year.
Fish and Wildlife
  • Of the 1,200 species listed as threatened or endangered, half depend on rivers and streams for survival.
  • At least 123 freshwater species became extinct during the 20th century.
  • Freshwater animals are disappearing 5 times faster than land animals.
  • In the Pacific Northwest, over 100 stocks and subspecies of salmon and trout have gone extinct. Another 200 are at risk.
Irrigation
  • A 1-acre cornfield loses 4,000 gallons of water a day through evaporation.
  • 6,800 gallons of water are required to grow a day's food for a family of four.
  • It takes 49 gallons of water to produce one 8-ounce glass of milk.
  • Oregon ranks 7th in the nation in irrigation water withdrawals.
  • 80% of Oregon's irrigated lands are east of the Cascades.
  • 13% of Oregon's farms use 3/4 of the irrigation water used in the state.
Oregon Water
  • Oregon has had four significant droughts since 1920.
  • Annual precipitation in western Oregon is between 40 and 140 inches a year.
  • Annual precipitation in eastern Oregon ranges from 10 to 20 inches a year.
  • Average annual precipitation for the entire state is 28 inches -- about the same as Texas.
  • In the past, hydroelectric dams have supplied up to 90% of Oregon's electricity; this is now down to about 50%.


  • Oregon has:
  • 1,200 large dams and 30,000 small dams.
  • Over 6,000 lakes, ponds, marshes, sloughs and reservoirs.
  • Over 1,400 named lakes, including 13 "Lost" lakes, 11 "Blue" lakes, 10 "Clear" lakes and 10 "Fish" lakes.
  • At least 200,000 wells, and possibly as many as 300,000.
  • 111,619 stream miles -- enough to encircle the Earth 4.5 times!
  • The fourth-largest U.S. river (based on volume), the Columbia is 1,243-miles long, with an average flow of 265,000 cubic feet every second.