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orion-list Water Consumption

Joe Zias commented:

>>Regarding the recent figure from Dietel that humans need 50 liters
of water to maintain good health, these figures include flush toilets
which take an enormous amt., showers, hand washing, teeth brushing
and some drinking water.  The Bedouin inhabiting the area with a life
style similar to those of 2,000 BP would laugh at this.<<

50 liters was also the figure I was seeing used as a minimum for all
personal uses (not agricultural).

I took Joe's advice and searched the web (using Excite.com) but was
not rewarded with a lot of useful figures.

The best I can reconstruct is an average per capita consumption (USA,
apparently) of 2.4 liters per day for drinking and 7.6 liters for
cooking (total of 10 liters - per day for drinking & cooking
combined). If 50 liters per day for maintenance of health is correct
then that would mean about 40 liters per day is necessary for bathing
and washing. Rochelle's estimate of about 32 liters (about 8 gallons)
per day sounds about right for a minimum requirements for *all*
personal (not agricultural) purposes.

I did notice that an Israeli water management site noted that
Palestinian areas in the Gaza strip use only 50-60 liters per day,
which is about half the recommended Israeli national minimum, and
about 20% of the average per capita consumption of the non-Palestinian
areas of the country.

The amount of water that can cause toxicity was variously stated to be
3 liters (per hour?) and 1 quart (did they mean gallon?) per hour. In
other words, I cannot be sure of the accuracy of these statistics.
Assuming the approximate equivalence of a quart and a liter, and it
appears 3-4 liters per hour can cause toxic effects, if I have
(re)interpreted these sites correctly.

I'm going to ask both a military and an archeological forum I frequent
what they considered minimums for these functions (drinking, cooking
and washing). I think we are all getting our meanings confused.


Dave Hindley
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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