water footprint

How To: Fix a leak
Why dripping faucets bother me so much

How much water do I use per month?

My water bill read around 5,000 gallons.

Florida kitchen a hundred years ago

By “use” I don’t mean drinking it all. There’s the sprinklers, cooking, washing dishes and clothes, an occasional fill up of the pool, plus two bathrooms and showers.

Constant drip of water use


Still, doing the math, that works out to a hefty half tablespoon per second.

Talk about a leaky faucet!

Water hog blues

Our household water meter counts around 5,500 gallons per month.

That adds up to about 6 swimming pools per year.

But what really has me feeling like a water hog
is how much (or little) of it per year I actually drink:

About six of these …
Just not all at once.

Mailbag: Water footprint?

Here’s a question from Beatrice in Duluth,Minnesota:

I’ve been hearing a lot about living closer to the land and conserving water. What’s the best way for me to calculate my “water footprint?”

That’s an excellent question, Beatrice – and perfect timing too!

Not too long ago I ventured off deep into the swamp with the very same question in mind when – low and behold – my boot got stuck in the muck of a dry season low-water hole, better known in these parts as “dry season refugia.”

Not to worry: There weren’t any gators in sight and just as quickly I was able to pull my boot free.


That’s when I noticed the deep print my foot left behind in the muck ever so slowly begin to fill with water.

By my calculations – 12 inches long by 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep – my footprint eventually filled up about 300 square inches of water, or in more common volumetric terms: About 5 quarts.

Incidentally, that equates to exactly how much water I drink per day in the hot Florida sun.

– Just not out of my swampy boot print!


Send your water questions to The South Florida Watershed Journal: “If it’s wet, flows downhill, or falls from the sky – we’re generally interested!”

“Brother can you spare a gallon?”

My water bill (plus sewer) costs me around $900 per year.

That’s for an average household usage
of 5,000 gallons per month.

While it may seem
sort of expensive at first:

It is quite a bit of water.

Per month we go through 120 water barrels (42.5 gallons each) and per year we use 5 swimming pool equivalents …

That’s going by the lap pool in my back yard. Measuring in at 15’ wide x 30’ long x 3.5’ deep, it holds around 12,000 gallons.)


Now imagine I had to order all that water to my house
by truck delivery (at the going rate of $9 per 5 gallon jug) instead …

That adds up to $108,000 per year.

Talk about a a big “jump” in prices!