CBC In Depth
INDEPTH: WATER
By the numbers
CBC News Online | August 25, 2004

CANADA:

More than 24 million
The number of Canadians who receive municipal drinking water.
Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

About 4,000
The number of municipal water treatment plants in Canada that treat drinking water taken from lakes, rivers and groundwater sources.
Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Less than 3%
The amount of municipally-treated water that is used for drinking.
Source: Environment Canada

1.5 litres
The amount of water the average adult drinks daily, including water used in drinks such as coffee, tea and juice.
Source: Health Canada

Per capita consumption of beverages, 1997
Beverage Amount consumed
Soft drinks112.6
Coffee93.7
Milk88.9
Alcoholic81.1
Tea56.6
Fruit juice27.6
Bottled water21.4
Vegetable juice1.5
21.4 litres
The amount of bottled water the average Canadian drank in 1997.
Source: Statistics Canada

343 litres
The amount of water the average Canadian used daily inside the home in 1998. Most indoor water is used in the bathroom.
Source: Environment Canada

50%
The percentage of all municipally-treated water used up during the summer months by people watering their lawns and gardens.
Source: Environment Canada

20%
The percentage of all municipal drinking water lost to leaks.
Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

1,600 cubic metres
The amount or water used in Canada per capita basis for all purposes. Of the 29 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), only the United States uses more water than Canada on a per capita basis. Canada�s per capita water consumption is 65 per cent above the OECD average.
Source: OECD

30%
The percentage of Canadians who rely on groundwater for domestic use.
Source: Statistics Canada

1-2 million
The number of water wells currently in use in Canada.
Source: Environment Canada

Breakdown of water used in the home
Task Percentage of water used
Showers and baths35%
Toilet Flushing30%
Laundry20%
Kitchen and drinking10%
Cleaning5%
22 million
The number of Canadians who use municipal sewer systems.
Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

About 3,000
The number of municipal wastewater treatment plants in Canada that remove contaminants and disinfect sewage before it is dumped back into Canadian waters.
Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities

6%
The percentage of Canadians who lived in municipalities with sewers containing wastewater that received no treatment before being discharged into the environment in 1996. This was down from 28 per cent in 1983.
Source: Statistics Canada

41%
The percentage of Canadians whose water received tertiary treatment, the highest level of wastewater treatment, in 1996. This was up from 28 per cent in 1983.
Source: Statistics Canada

More than 1 trillion litres
The amount of untreated sewage dumped into our waters every year (about 3.25 billion litres per day) by 21 cities across the country.
Source: Sierra Legal Defence Fund

100%
The percentage of Canadians living in urban areas who have access to clean water. This figure is 99 per cent for rural Canada. Compare this to Afghanistan where only 19 per cent of urban residents and 11 per cent of rural residents have access to clean water.
Source: World Health Organization

More than 160
The number of waterborne disease outbreaks that were reported in Canada between 1974 and 1996. It is estimated that only one-tenth of such outbreaks are reported.
Source: Health Canada

7
The number of people who died in Walkerton, Ontario, in May 2000 when E. coli and other bacteria contaminated the town�s water supply. In total, over 2,000 people got sick.
Source: CBC News Online

100
The number of people who died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993 due to an outbreak of the water-borne parasite cryptosporidium. In total, about 400,000 people got sick.
Source: CBC News Online

How much water is used per task
Task Amount consumed
Washing machine225 litres
Shower (10 minutes)100 litres
Bath60 litres
Dishwasher40 litres
Washing dishes by hand35 litres
Toilet flush15-20 litres
Brushing your teeth (with tap running)10 litres
Hand washing (with tap running)8 litres
About 34,000
The number of people who die each day worldwide due to diseases related to water, feces and dirt, such as cholera and infant diarrhea. In developing countries, 80 per cent of illnesses are water related.
Source: Environment Canada

20-25%
The percentage of the world�s fresh water that is in Canada.
Source: Environment Canada

891,863 square kilometres
The amount of space covered by Canada's freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. This accounts for about nine per cent of the Canada's total area.
Source: Natural Resources Canada

Almost 3,000 cubic metres
The amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls every second in the daytime. At night about half of this water is diverted for hydroelectricity. Niagara Falls is the largest producer of electric power in the world.
Source: Info Niagara

31,328 square kilometres
The size of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, the largest lake entirely in Canada (the Great Lakes border the U.S.). Great Bear Lake is more than five times the size of Prince Edward Island.
Source: Statistics Canada

2,681 square kilometres
The size of Wollaston Lake in Saskatchewan, the largest lake in the world that drains naturally in two directions - north into the Mackenzie River basin and east into Hudson Bay.
Source: Natural Resources Canada


INTERNATIONAL:

1.1 billion
The estimated number of people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water.

2.4 billion
The estimated number of people worldwide who lack access to sanitation. Most are in Africa and Asia.

2 billion
The estimated number of people who depend on groundwater worldwide (about one-third of the world's population). Countries around the world face rapidly depleting groundwater resources, including parts of India, China, West Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the former Soviet Union and the western United States.

About 80
The number of countries that had experienced serious water shortages by the mid 1990s. This makes up about 40 per cent of the world's population.

One-third
The proportion of the global population who live in countries with moderate-to-high water stress. Water stress occurs when water consumption exceeds 10 per cent of renewable freshwater resources. West Asia faces the severest threat. More than 90 per cent of the population in the region lives under severe water stress.

Two-thirds
The proportion of the global population that is expected to be living in water stressed conditions in less than 25 years.

40%
The increase in global water use expected by 2020.

$30 billion
The projected cost per year of bringing poor people universal access to water by 2015.

Source: United Nations Environment Programme, GEO-Global Environment Outlook 3, Past, Present and Future Perspectives






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RELATED: Inside Walkerton Water for profit Bottled Water Cryptosporidium E. coli Drought of 2002

CBC STORIES:
Saint John residents have to wait one more day for clean water (April 19, 2004)

EXTERNAL LINKS:
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Water - How good is it? from Heatlh Canada

Water Pollution, from Environment Canada

B.C. drinking water program

Alberta Environment - water

Water management in Saskatchewan

Manitoba water stewardship

Ontario Ministry of the Environment - water

Environnement Québec - water

New Brunswick Environment - water

P.E.I. Environment - water management

Nova Scotia Environment - water and wastewater

Newfoundland and Labrador Environment - water resources

Safe Drinking Water Foundation

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association

Canadian Groundwater Association

Canadian Water Resources Association

Canadian Association For Environmental Analytical Laboratories

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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