World’s biggest drink

As crowded as it seems in Florida, especially “in season” (during the winter) and along the coast,

I’m always shocked by the infinite remoteness of the Everglades.

It’s that duality that makes me wonder:

Could we put the entire world population on top of Lake Okeechobee’s 143-mile long levee and all enjoy a “cup” of water in harmony?

And if so, exactly how much water would that be?

(For calculation purposes I assumed only 6 billion people, leaving the other 700 million at home to maintain essential services.)

Turns out we couldn’t.

By my calculations we’d have to cram 8,000 people per linear foot of levee.

That’s not possible considering the levee is only 300 ft wide at its base, and only a few ten feet at its crest.

But let’s say we did, and simultaneously enjoyed a “cup” of water anyhow.

The one-time serving would drain 568 Olympic-sized swimming pools!


How about a “day’s worth” of water for the entire world?

If we awarded everyone the American standard: 100 gallons per day per person,

That would drain 168 Lake Okeechobee volumes (4 million acre feet) per year, or about two year’s worth of the Mississippi River.

Florida’s 18 million residents never seemed so small!

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