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orion-list RE: Water Consumption


Assuming this is not now a dead thread, I have some preliminary
results of my informal and unscientific search for water facts:

Personal hydration:

Minimum needs, 2.5 quarts/litres *per day* (Winter, low activity

Maximum needs, 32 (possibly up to the toxicity level - about 48)
quarts/litres *per day* (Summer, high activity level)

Other uses:

7.5 quarts/litres per day for cooking (not certain whether this
includes water in the food consumed, but I do not think so. It may
include food preparation, such as washing produce prior to cooking)

40.0 quarts/litres per day for hygiene (which seems a bit high to me
for that time period, and may carry with it several modern
assumptions, as the average modern day shower consumes something like
8 gallons of water, etc)

A gentleman on the Archeology Method list suggested Evenari, M.,
Shanan, L. & Tadmor, N. _The Negev: the challenge of a desert._,
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Per his recollection, the min & max human per-capita water budgets for
the Negev under different temperature conditions were 2 litres a day
in winter, 7 litres a day in summer.

Dr. Daniel K. Falk noted that:

>>[T]his matter [of water requirements] does not help decide who lived
there, but possibly may
help with the question of how many persons--Essene or otherwise--could
be supported by the water installations there. It _might_ be relevant
to the debate about how many of the installations were used as miqvaot
rather than water reservoirs, and this might indirectly factor into
the debate about identity, but IMHO it is not possible to make all of
the putative miqvaoth go away--these have physical characteristics
distinctive to miqvaot.<<

I suppose there must be estimates of the quantity of water that could
be held in each cistern/pool, as well as the amount of available water
that could be collected into them, but was unable to obtain any
details from the web. You could have a container that holds 100,000
gallons, but not have enough rainfall, or the ability to effectively
collect it, to ever fill it up. My guess would be that the
cisterns/pools were designed to collect and hold enough water, under
normal climatic conditions, to serve the maximum normal personal needs
(drinking, cooking & hygiene) of the occupants. Even if some of them
were mikvaot, you *could* use that water for drinking, cooking or
bathing in an emergency, thus serving as a form of reserve.

That leaves a LOT of wiggle room, though, doesn't it?


Dave Hindley
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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