Integrated Water Resource Management - IWRM

Water Infographic: Alarming Statistics About Wasted Water in Our Communities

Yoshimi Yoshida
Started by Yoshimi Yoshida on
26 Apr 2015 at 22:45
Environmental Scientist
Know-how: Environmental Services and Mitigation, Environmental Services



Water Infographic: Alarming Statistics About Wasted Water in Our Communities

Water infographic with leak statistics

This infographic has wrong statistics!!

IBM created a water infographic to highlight some alarming statistics about how much water is wasted due to leaks in our water distribution infrastructure. A third of the water infrastructure in the US is 40 to 80 years old. Therefore, replacing this old infrastructure and repairing leaks is estimated to cost $335 billion over the next 20 years. In terms of water waste, not only do the leaky faucets in our homes waste a lot of water, but there is an average of 700 water main breaks each day across the US which wastes a tremendous amount of water. These pipe leaks are also exasperated by drought conditions, currently affecting a big part of the US.
Update: The statistics in this infographic may be suspect. Michael Campana (@WaterWired) researched it a bit in this post and found that dripping faucets don’t waste 27,000 gallons per year, but only 2,700 gallons per year.


While the issues represented in the infographic have to be solved on a municipal scale by municipalities and water providers, there are some action steps that you, the homeowner, can take to do your part.

We can all reduce the amount of water we use on a daily basis. During the summer months, many cities report that their water customers use more water for outdoor irrigation than inside the house. Therefore, while conserving water indoors is helpful, the larger bang-for-the-buck conservation gains happen outdoors.

Here are a few suggestions to tame your outdoor water usage:

Some of these suggestions may not provide immediate payback but it is better to reduce your water use now and be prepared for higher water rates that will certainly come in the future. The amount of investment that it will take to fix our water infrastructure will have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere will most likely be from the water end users, with urban residential water consumers seeing the brunt of the water rate increases.

Do you have other suggestions for conserving water in your lawn and landscape?

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Chris Maxwell-Gaines
Chris Maxwell-Gaines
Civil engineer and urban planner focused on creating impacting and sustainable projects by identifying all of the hidden water conservation opportunities available. Particularly interested in working within the realms of sustainable site planning, conservation subdivision design, integrated water management and planning, and low impact development practices.
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Original Graph by IBM

Industry Tags: 
  • WaterInfrastructureLeakage Reduction
  • WaterWater SupplyLeakage
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