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Water Information Quick Facts

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  • Saskatchewan's major river systems are the North and South Saskatchewan, Assiniboine and Churchill. All empty into Hudson Bay.
  • Origin of Saskatchewan's name: the Plains Indian word, "kisiskatchewan", meaning "the river that flows swiftly"; a reference to the area's major river
  • Saskatchewan is approximately 651,900 square kilometres (more than a quarter million square miles) in size. Contrary to popular belief, one half the province is covered by forest, one-third by farmland and one-eighth by fresh water.
  • Raindrops are not tear-shaped. Scientists, using high-speed cameras, have discovered that raindrops resemble the shape of a small hamburger bun.
  • About 70% of the human body is water.
  • Life on earth probably originated in water.
  • More than half of the world's animal and plant species live in the water.
  • Almost 75% of the earth is covered in water.
  • The human body needs 2 litres of water a day in our climate; we can last only a few days without water.
  • Most of our food is water: tomatoes (95%), spinach (91%), milk (90%), apples (85%), potatoes (80%), beef (61%), hot dogs (56%).
  • Water is the most common substance found on earth. The only water we will ever have is what we have right now.
  • In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere
  • Water is the only substance on earth naturally found in the three true element forms: solid, liquid and gas.
  • Bones are 25% water.
  • A person can survive without food for more than 30 days, but less than a week without water.
  • There has been a 60% loss of Canada's wetlands in the past 100 years (in most regions of the country).
  • Over 600 species are supported by wetlands and associated habitat.
  • Each day the sun evaporates 1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) tons of water.
  • About 83% of our blood is water. It helps digest our food, transport waste and control body temperature.
  • Once evaporated, a water molecule spends about 10 days in the air.
  • Freshwater lakes, rivers 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.
  • Of the total world's freshwater supply, about one third is found underground.
  • About 7.6% of Canada is covered by freshwater in lakes and rivers - 755,165 square kilometres.
  • Canada's rivers and lakes contain enough water to flood the entire country to a depth of more than 2 metres.
  • Canadians are the trustees of almost 25% of all of the world's wetlands, currently covering 16% of the land area of Canada.
  • Approximately 60% of Canada's fresh water drains north.
  • Canada holds 20% of the world's fresh water, but has only 7% of the world's fresh renewable water.
  • Water consumption usually drops 18-25% after a water meter is installed.
  • Approximately 10 litres of water is required to produce 1 litre of gasoline.
  • Approximately 1,000 kilograms of water is required to grow 1 kilogram of potatoes.
  • Approximately 295,000 litres of water is required to produce 910 kilograms of paper.
  • Approximately 86,300 litres of water is required to produce 910 kilograms of steel.
  • On average, 14% of municipal piped water is lost in pipeline leaks - up to 30% in some communities.
  • Toilets (while consuming nearly one quarter of our municipal water supply) use over 40% more water than needed.
  • Many homes lose more water from leaky taps than they need for cooking and drinking.
  • Less than 3% of the water produced at a large municipal water treatment plan is used for drinking purposes.
  • 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 only 35 litres of water.
  • During the summer, about half of all treated water is sprayed onto lawns and gardens.
  • Water uses and consumption: toilet flush - 15-20L; shower (10 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 50% 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.
  • Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.
  • One litre of oil can contaminate up to 2 million litres of water.
  • About 85% of Saskatchewan residents rely on municipal or communal waterworks for domestic uses.
  • About 27% of municipal or communal waterworks use surface water and serve about 57% of Saskatchewan residents.
  • About 73% of municipal or communal waterworks use groundwater and serve about 28% of Saskatchewan residents.
  • About 15% of Saskatchewan residents (such as farmers, cottage owners, etc.) rely on private or individual works; the sources for these systems are groundwater (wells) or surface water (small reservoirs, dugouts, lakes, etc.)
  • An 8 minute shower with a reduced-flow showerhead saves over 6.5 litres of hot water. That means annual savings of 14% on water heating.
  • Using a reduced-flow showerhead saves 7,500 litres of drinking water per year.