How Much Water Do We Need?


How Much Water Do We Need?

On my recent visit to the San Francisco Public Library I picked up a free copy of a 2019 wall calendar.  It has twelve images of flowers photographed by various photographers. However, what piqued my interest was the theme of the calendar information related to the water in San Francisco.  Whether you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the recent heavy rains, this is what we needed, because we are currently using about 64.7 million gallons per day, or about 83 gallons per person.  That sounds like a lot.  Where does all of this water go?  Health authorities generally recommend drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water a day, which comes out to about 2 liters, or half a gallon. There is an opinion that we need to sip on water constantly throughout the day, even when we are not thirsty.  There are other studies pointing out that there is no science behind the 8X8 Rule, therefore, people should drink water when you are thirsty, when not thirsty any more, stop.  And lastly, during hot weather and when exercising, it’s important to drink enough to compensate for lost fluids. Online I found a number of articles and videos on the subject.  But then there is another question – which water is good for our bodies?

What is remarkable – we do not need to spend money on the plastic bottles, which pollute our environment.  In San Francisco we are blessed to have great tasting water which mostly comes from the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. Unlike bottled water, the tap water costs less than half a penny per gallon.  Reading this information online got me thinking. We use a costly filter at home, which needs to be replaced every so often, and at work we use large plastic bottles.  Do we need all of those devices?  Turns out that the water that goes straight to our tap is tested over 100,000 times a year and is highly regulated by FDA.

Regardless how much we drink, it is still a small portion of the water we consume every day.  According to the article titled “How We Use Water and Why We Should Conserve More”, Marni Evans points out that according to the United States Environment Protection Agency, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water at home daily.  Wow! Why do we need so much?

Turns out that the total amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons versus 108 gallons for corn. This information alone would turn me into a vegetarian (I have already been one for the last forty-three years).  I do not think that you will make this decision right away, but I hope it will make you think.  You can find more information about how much water is needed to produce food on different websites.  Meanwhile, visit your local library branch and pick up a copy of the calendar to read a lot of good advice regarding the use of our water.  While there, do not forget to check out an interesting book or an educational audio-program.  Through the years, I have listened many audio courses and books while driving.

P.S. I like to photograph water as an abstract image. You can see the result in these three images (you can see more images in my photo-gallery in our office).  But I also included a photo of Max cooling off in a water puddle at Stern Grove where he “worked hard” to chase his ball.  This is just as a reminder that you can learn more of how to take care of dogs while enjoying their whimsical images in “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers”, which you can order on

P.P.S. While checking the archives of my “Encounters”, I encountered the story I wrote on March 11, 2016 with the same title “How Much Water Do We Need?” but with different content.  If you need some easy reading, check out my other stories.

Enjoy & Share with a Friend.

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