Local Knowledge About Water
Water covers about 75% of the Earth’s surface. Despite its abundance, only a fraction of the water on this planet is available for our household or agricultural use. Of the 0.52% of water that is fresh, 96% is ground water and only 4% surface water. The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors. Nationally, outdoor water use accounts for 30 percent of household use yet can be much higher in drier parts of the country and in more water-intensive landscapes. For example, the arid West has some of the highest per capita residential water use because of landscape irrigation. Residential water usage is typically measured in cubic feet, and there are 7.481 gallons of water in one cubic foot.