Water Facts including the Great Lakes
Did you know?
Sources: Environment Canada, MNR, MOE, various NGO
Raindrops are not tear-shaped. Scientists, using high-speed cameras, have discovered that raindrops resemble the shape of a small hamburger bun.
The average human body is composed of about 55% water.
Almost 70% of the earth is covered in water.
Most of our food is water: tomatoes (95%), spinach (91%), milk (90%), apples (85%), potatoes (80%), beef (61%), hot dogs (56%).
Once evaporated, a water molecule spends about 10 days in the air.
In nearly all the world's major religions, water is attributed important symbolic and ceremonial properties.
The UN Declares 2005-2015 "Water for Life" as the International Decade for Action and sets the world agenda on a greater focus on water-related issues.
Freshwater lakes and rivers, ice and snow, and underground aquifers hold only 2.5% of the world's water. By comparison, saltwater oceans and seas contain 97.5% of the world's water supply.
68.9% of the earth's fresh water exists in the form of glaciers and permanent snow cover.
Of the total world's freshwater supply, 30.8% is groundwater, including soil moisture, swamp water and permafrost.
Only 0.3% of total global fresh water is stored in lakes and rivers.
Annually, Canada's rivers discharge 7% of the world's renewable water supply – 105 000 cubic metres per second.
Almost 9% of Canada's total area is covered by fresh water.
Approximately 60% of Canada's fresh water drains north, while 85% of the population lives within 300 kilometres of the southern border with the United States.
Canada has about 25% of the world's wetlands – the largest wetland area in the world.
In Canada, there is more water underground than on the surface.
The river in Canada with the greatest annual discharge is the St. Lawrence River at 9 850 cubic metres per second.
The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh, surface water on earth, containing roughly 18% of the world supply.
The combined shoreline of the Great Lakes is equal to about 45% of the earth's circumference.
Only 1% of the waters of the Great Lakes are renewed each year by snow melt and rain.
Floods are the most costly natural disasters in Canada in terms of property damage.
The most severe flood in Canadian history occurred on October 14 to 15, 1954 when Hurricane Hazel brought 214 millimetres of rain in Toronto region in just 72 hours.
Passage of a major storm on Lake Erie can cause short-term lake level changes of as much as 4 metres.
Health problems related to water pollution in general are estimated to cost Canadians $300 million per year.
Plasma, which constitutes 55% of our blood volume, is 90% water.
Approximately 300 litres of water is required to produce 1 kilogram of paper.
It takes about 215 000 litres of water to produce one metric ton of steel.
On average, 13% of municipal piped water is lost in pipeline leaks – up to 30% in some communities.
Residential indoor water use in Canada: toilet – 30%; bathing and showering – 35%; laundry – 20%; kitchen and drinking – 10%; cleaning – 5%
A 5-minute shower with a standard shower head uses 100 litres of water. A 5-minute shower with a low-flow shower head uses less than 50 litres of water.
Water uses and consumption: toilet flush – 15-19L; shower (5 min.) – 100L; tub bath – 60L; automatic dishwashing – 40L; dishwashing by hand – 35L; hand washing – 8L (with tap running); brushing teeth – 10L (with tap running); outdoor watering – 35L/min; washing machine – 225L
A single lawn sprinkler spraying 19 litres per minute uses more water in just one hour than a combination of ten toilet flushes, two 5-minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of clothes.
Approximately 1000 kilograms of water is required to grow 1 kilogram of potatoes.
The Great Lakes support 25% of Canada's agricultural capacity.
Hydropower currently provides 19% of the world's total electricity supply.
The average large dam today is about 35 years old.
The Great Lakes support 33 million people, including nine million Canadians and eight of Canada's 20 largest cities.
The Great Lakes Basin is home to 90% of Ontario's population and 40% of Canada's economic activity.
Each year, the Great Lakes contribute $180 billion to Canada-U.S. trade.
Every year 1.5 million recreational boaters enjoy the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes sustain a $100 million commercial fishing industry.
The Great Lakes sustain a $350 million recreational fishing industry.
where and when
©2007 Chatham Kent Children's Water Festival